Odysseus' Selfishness Essay

Odysseus' Selfishness Essay

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Odysseus portrays himself as anything but a hero throughout Homer’s The Odyssey. Odysseus goes through his life believing he is the best. He has no regard for anyone’s feelings but his own, and he believes nothing and no one can harm him, not even the gods. Odysseus feels he is always the leader and no one can tell him otherwise. Odysseus should not be considered a hero because he portrays himself as a selfish man that failed his crew, and is controlled by his hubris.
Odysseus portrays his selfishness right as the book begins and this shows how truly incompetent of an individual he is. One form of selfishness Odysseys shows is adultery. He is unfaithful to Penelope many times throughout the book. He reveals this trait specifically when he is with Kalypso on Ogygia and with Kirke on Aiaia. Odysseus shows his selfishness when he steps foot on Kalypso’s island because he chooses to stay with her for seven years. He did not care about the crew’s feelings on the matter, since all’s he cared about was himself. By the time the seven years were up, the crew members finally realized they had to make Odysseus leave. These actions also make a liar out of Odysseus because he said he wanted to return home more than anything, yet he did not even make the slightest attempt to leave. On Aiaia, Odysseus was forced to sleep with Kirke to save his men from staying swine, but he still committed adultery. No matter what the reason, adultery is a choice that can be controlled. An additional negative quality Odysseus obtains is being self absorbed. This trait is seen when Odysseus traveled to the Land of the Dead. He shows his selfish qualities in this example because he travels there initially for his own benefit. Odysseus also has attendances to t...


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...ith the help of sorrowful experiences. Odysseus had to face the sight of watching his dog, Argos, die. This made Odysseus take things into perspective, and appreciate things more. Also, Odysseus lost some of his hubris when he found out what had been happening to his wife. She has been taken advantage of my the suitors, and almost got remarried. This also made Odysseus realize how good he had it before his whole journey occurred.
Odysseus’ journey was without a doubt a long and grueling one. Odysseus may have saved Ithaka, but his actions throughout his journey lead me to believe otherwise. Odysseus is an unappreciative, self-centered, lazy, and selfish man that does not deserve the title as hero. He acts this way solely because of his hubris, and he maintains his pride throughout the story. Odysseus’ hubris is the reason why it takes him so long to return home.

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