Odysseus Egotistical Analysis

Submitted By shakeykey
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In “The Odyssey”, Odysseus progresses from being egotistical to miserable and finally to being patient through the obstacles he encounters on his voyage home. In the beginning of this epic poem, Odysseus conveys himself as egotistical. He is arrogant and underestimates others leading him to have an overdose of self-importance. The first time he portrays this trait is when he escaping the land of the Cyclops. “Cyclops, if ever mortal man inquire how you were put to shame and blinded, tell him Odysseus raider of cities took your eye: Laertes’ son, whos home’s on Ithaca” (Bk 9, 519-523). Odysseus defeats the giant by gauging his eye out. While Odysseus escapes after his victorious conquest he decides to reveal himself to the adversary. He does this to show the Cyclops that he is the superior man in the situation. This action shows that Odysseus is egotistical because he acts in a lordly manner and embraces the fact that he has blinded a man seeing it as legitimate defeat. Odysseus shows that he is egotistical once again when he receives the unbearable winds from Aeolus, king of winds. “After escaping the cyclopes island, Odysseus and his men land on the Island of Aeolus, the king of all winds. Aeolus, assist him by putting all of the unfavorable winds in a bag, which he gives Odysseus. His curious crew, however, rip open the bag, and the hurricane-like winds blow the ships far off course” (Bk 10, Italics). After Odysseus acquires the winds from Aeolus, him and his crew head back out to sea to continue their journey home. Odysseus being pretentious keeps the knowledge of the winds to himself and does tell his crew. This makes him egotistical because he did not tell the crew what the bag contained which had a result of them opening it, but if he takes the time to warn them about the dangers of opening the sac they could be on their way to Ithaca instead of coming upon an uncharted island. As the story continues, Odysseus utterly changes from being egotistical to miserable. The first time we see the change in character is when he visits the underworld to receive a prophecy. “He also sees his mother who had still been alive when he left for Troy” (Bk 11, Italics). This quote shows that Odysseus is miserable because he is in the land of the dead but the fact that he comes across his mother fills him with immense sorrow. This resembles his miserable state because the fact that his mother has died reminds him of how long he has been away from home. Another time that Odysseus displays himself being miserable is when he faces punishment for his men’s actions. “… When they set sail again, Zeus delivers his punishment in the form of a thunderbolt that destroys their ship. All the men are drowned but Odysseus” (Book 12, Italics). After being on Helios’ Island for a while, Odysseus’ men went on feasting on Helios’ cattle for six days. Knowing very well that they were not allowed to lay even a