The Shadow Of Odysseus Essay

846 words - 4 pages

Odysseus is seen as a strong, brave and godlike character in many aspects; however, most people only see the outside glory of his image and fail to notice the shadow lurking in the depth of a mind that is mentally weak and diseased. Although cunning, Odysseus’s excess of hubris destroys him and his men throughout the journey home. It can be clearly seen that Odysseus is overconfident in his abilities and intelligence, thus leading to his companions downfall.
Odysseus’ excessive pride, confidence and love for himself can be seen numerous times throughout the Odyssey. This personality can be presumed to have developed since childhood. From the beginning when Odysseus first got his scar, he had already proven to be far more superior to others. Although only a child, Odysseus had slain a great boar, which may have been the start of the development of his arrogant nature. Showered with praise from birth, he slowly began to become overconfident in his abilities. But being superior to all others presumably lead to the feeling of extreme loneliness, as there was no one Odysseus could have talked to as an equal, and always the people were considered inferior to him. Being far greater than any other mortal, others have regarded him as something that is unreachable and unapproachable. And as a form of protection, Odysseus developed a personality that separates him from everyone else, which may also be the reason he does not seem to have a close, intimate with anyone in the story. Odysseus doesn't even feel any maternal love for his wet nurse, Eurykleia, who has watched and cared for him since he was young. This can be proven true as Odysseus does not hesitate to threaten to kill her if she reveals his identity. Odysseus doesn't seem to care about the safety of people either, as he tells Polyphemus the location of his home without any consideration of what may happen, as the Cyclops could easily destroy Ithaca. This therefore shows that Odysseus believes his own life and pride to be extremely precious, which once again reveals his narcissistic nature. Odysseus’s sense of righteousness in the story also seems to be somewhat twisted. He kills anyone that have theoretically harmed him or family, without proper evidence, he just deems whatever to be right by the boundaries of his own mind, which, let’s not forget, is highly unstable. Furthermore, Odysseus is hypocritical in almost all his actions and thoughts. For example, when he returns...

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