In the poem, The Odyssey, by Homer, 3 strong character traits of Odysseus, the main character, are demonstrated. Homer makes all of these traits very clear, they can be qualified as good or bad traits. Homer displays these traits constantly but in different ways. In other words, his weakness hurt him but his quick thinking would help him. Odysseus’ arrogant attitude could either be considered a good trait or a bad trait. Odysseus, the main character of The Odyssey by Homer demonstrates weak leadership, quick thinking, and an arrogant attitude throughout his journey.
Throughout The Odyssey, Odysseus often shows a very weak side of himself. Not physically weak but emotionally weak, thus Odysseus is always caught in the corner weeping. Calypso was the first to admit “Off he sat off a headland weeping there as always” (Homer 155) which shows he is over dramatic considering the fact that Calypso says he is weeping, as always. Since this is a normal thing for Odysseus, another example of this is when he “buried his handsome face, ashamed his hosts might see him shedding tears” (Homer 195).
Not only is Odysseus often caught in the corner crying but he always seems ashamed of himself. He knows when he shows signs of weakness and he doesn’t want his men to think of him as anything less than the powerful man he is. Another character trait Odysseus demonstrates throughout the story is his ability to react quickly in tough situations. On page 317 the men are struggling to stay warm.
They admit that the cold will do them in. But as for Odysseus, he has a plan. a thought flashed in his mind; no one can touch a man at plots or battle–Odysseus had a plan”(Homer 317). Odysseus always has a plan, a quick plan because he is a quicker thinker. Later in the book when Odysseus distracts his people while he hides the slaughters of the suitors. He quickly realizes he can have his minstrel play his music while Telemachus drags the suitors outside. Because of Odysseus’ ability to react quickly to his many obstacles he is always able to get himself out of the sticky situations he is dragged into.
If it wasn’t for this trait, he most likely wouldn’t have made it half as far as he did. Odysseus was always very confident of himself in each problem he came across. So confident that I would consider him to be conceited. Some of the things he thought of himself were very true but others were what he thought to be true. Odysseus himself admits, “my wits kept weaving- weaving cunning schemes” (Homer 224). Yes, Odysseus is a very cunning person but he also isn’t afraid to admit it, which is where his cockiness came into play.
Another one of the many examples is when he is so confident he could win the challenge against Phaecia’s best. Odysseus is challenging the Phaecians to “go match that, you young pups, and straightaway– I’ll hurl you another just as far, I swear, or even father” (Homer 198) which is very confident of him.. They aren’t just any of the Phaecian’s but they are the best. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing he is so confident because it shows that he is brave and willing, but sometimes it can come off as him being overly cocky which irks his men and makes it difficult to get along.
During The Odyssey, Homer portrays Odysseus to be dramatic, arrogant, and a quick thinker. He is such a strong leader but he always brings out the worst in himself but he definitely knows what to do in every situation considering he makes it home safely. Although he came across many life threatening obstacles throughout his journey home, his quick thinking often helps but his arrogant attitude sometimes ruins things for him.
Subject: The Odyssey,
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 3 October 2016
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