Odysseus

10 October 2016

Humans compare many things like, how tall they are or how much they weigh. World literature generally gives us many ways to compare on work from another as for example, Odysseus in the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer, and Oedipus in the play Oedipus the King by Sophocles. These two men may have one thing in common, their pride. However, their relationships, self-control, and motivations are totally different from each other. Pride is a funny thing, too much or too little of it can hurt you, however, just enough pride can help you achieve many things.

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Pride can come from a lot of different things like, winning a battle, being king, or just being well known. Odysseus and Oedipus both had pride, but different forms of it. One of the men was more humble while the other would not listen to anyone. One of the men’s pride led him to his fall and caused him to turn on his own friend, the other man’s pride helped him achieve wondrous things like, getting back home to his family. Oedipus was a king, as well as Odysseus, but Oedipus was not a very humble king. He was proud to be king and wanted everyone else to know he was king.

Oedipus was well known among his people, but when asked questions about himself, he did not like to answer. Oedipus would avoid answering questions about himself. He would not listen to anything anybody had to say. For example, when Creon, Oedipus’s brother-in-law and friend, comes back from the oracle with the news about the plague, Creon wishes to tell Oedipus in private, but Oedipus was everyone else to hear. Oedipus thought one way and one way only, his way. Oedipus also like to blame other people, nothing was ever his fault.

In the play Oedipus the King by Sophocles, Thebes in under a plague and for the plague to lifted, the murderer of Laius must be driven out of Thebes. Oedipus goes on to blame the citizens of Thebes for making no attempt to find the criminals, because of his pride Oedipus will blame everyone else before he will blame himself. Another example of Oedipus blaming others, when Oedipus finds out he is the murderer, he goes to blame Creon thinking that Creon wants to steal his crown and thrown. Oedipus has a very hard believing anyone.

Because of his pride Oedipus thinks he knows all and everyone else knows nothing. When the blind prophet Tiresias first tell Oedipus that he is the killer on Laius, Oedipus will not believe him and goes into a rage, Oedipus also will not believe Creon either. Oedipus’s prided really hurt him. His people was beginning to think he was unjust king, and that he was going insane. Having too much pride can really hurt you as see with Oedipus. But there was a king who had balance between pride and being humble. Odysseus was also a king like Oedipus was, but Odysseus was a more humble king.

He also did not have as much pride as Oedipus did. Now, Odysseus did have pride issues just like pretty much every human. He very famous among his people, everyone across the land knew who Odysseus was. Odysseus was not only well known to his people but he was also well known to the gods. Odysseus was someone the gods enjoyed talking about and someone who the gods had a lot of faith in. This probably had something to do with Odysseus’s pride. Odysseus’s pride was different from Oedipus’s, instead of leading Odysseus to his fall, his pride actually helped him on his journey home.

Odysseus had a lot of pride when it came to his family; he had a faithful wife and a courageous son. When it came to someone trying to hurt his family or trying to take his place, Odysseus would not stand for it. When Odysseus had heard about all the suitors in his palace he became outraged and wanted to get home as quickly as possible. When he got home he was dressed as a beggar so none of the suitors would know who he was and that he had returned back to Ithaca. However Odysseus did expect his father to know who he was when he went to see him.

Odysseus decided to test his father to see if he would recognize Odysseus. When Odysseus notices that his father does know who he is and that his father is suffering and struggling without his son, this hurt Odysseus, knowing that his own father could not recognize him, but Odysseus decides to swallow his pride and tell his father that he is finally back. This shows that Odysseus has a humble side unlike Oedipus, Odysseus was not afraid to be humble. Another this Odysseus was not afraid to do was take advice from someone and listen to them, Oedipus had a very hard time doing this.

For example, at the end of book XXIV of the epic poem The Odyssey, Zeus’s daughter Athena commands Odysseus to stop the fighting and to make piece, so Odysseus takes her listens and takes her advice and makes piece with the people form the dead suitors’ home town. The pride between these two is completely different, because one more humble while the other was very hard headed. The only characteristic Oedipus and Odysseus had in common was pride, everything else is very different between the two of them. The relationships that Oedipus and Odysseus had were not similar at all. Odysseus had many people that liked him and stood behind him n his decisions, while Oedipus hardly had any. Oedipus was known across his land but he only had one companion named Creon who was his brother-in-law. Oedipus did have a wife, who he was deeply in love with, but like everyone else, he would not listen to what she had to say, nor would he believe it. Oedipus had faith in his wife, but only that she would not sleep with any other man, he did not have faith in her words. He also did not have faith in what Creon or anyone else had to say. Creon was very loyal to Oedipus, but on the flip side, Oedipus was not very loyal to Creon.

Oedipus was always thinking that Creon was trying to take his kingdom. When Creon tries to tell Oedipus the truth about killer and tried to help him, Oedipus just yells at Creon and starts to blame him. Odysseus had better relationships with his friends and family, and even the gods. Odysseus was well-known and well-liked across his land. When Odysseus needed help with anything, there was always someone wanting to help him. At the end of book XXIV of The Odyssey when the battle was about to begin, Odysseus had his friends and family all wanting to help him fight.

Odysseus was a very well-liked person not only by his people but by the gods. The gods were very fond of Odysseus, they liked to help him all they good and bless him the best they could. When Odysseus was slaying the suitors, many people believed that he had help for the gods. Also, at the end of book XXIV the opposing warriors believe that Odysseus had the help from the gods, which he did. When Odysseus and his men were marching to the battle site Athena was there beside him helping him along. Odysseus had a lot of faith in his family and his friends.

While he was away he did not have to worry about his friends betraying him or his wife not staying faithful. In fact, his wife told the suitors that she would marry when she got her shroud finish, but at night when she got done weaving for the day, she would sneak into the room and unweave most of what she had done during that day. Penelope, Odysseus’s wife, wanted to stay faithful to her husband whatever it took, and whatever the consequences would be. Odysseus also had faith in the words his wife spoke; he would listen to her and believe what she said.

Odysseus had very faithful friends and great relationships with them as well. His friend Dolius and his sons knew who Odysseus was the minute they saw him. However when Odysseus went to visit his father, Laerties, he could not recognize Odysseus. This broke Odysseus’s heart to know that his father could not see who he was even though he was disguised as a beggar. Odysseus ends up tell his father who he is so his father will not suffer anymore, and so they can have the same great father-son relationship they had before.

When Odysseus and his father set down for dinner, they confirmed each other’s spirits, meaning they understood each other. Odysseus did not know his son much before he left on his journey, but when he returned Odysseus planned to make things right with his son, and get know him like a father should. Even though Odysseus had been back to Ithaca only a short while, Dolius, Odysseus’s loyal friend, and his six sons along with Laeties, Odysseus’s father, were ready to spring into action and fight right alongside with Odysseus under his command.

Odysseus had great relationship with almost everyone he knew, which was a marvelous thing to have. Oedipus on the other hand lacked this slightly. His wife and he did have a wonderful marriage and they were happy with each other, but when it came time for advice, Oedipus did not it from her at all. When it came to self-control neither of them had much, however Odysseus had more self-control then Oedipus did. When Oedipus wanted to find the killer of Laius so bad, that he put a curse on the killer hoping they would come forward and confess.

Oedipus’s intentions were good, but it was lack of self-control, if he had enough self-control then he would have realized the curse was not needed. Also Oedipus was always blaming people, he never took the time to look at the situation and come up with the appropriate solution. As soon as Oedipus hears that the murderers are in his land, he automatically blames the people, never taking the time to think about the whole situation. Another example was when, the blind prophet, Tiresias tries to tell Oedipus that he is the murderer he has been searching for, and Oedipus quickly blames Creon thinking this whole thing is a conspiracy.

Under the right circumstances no one will have self-control. For Odysseus, when it came to his family, he hardly had any self-control. When Odysseus came home and saw all the suitors in his court, he was outraged, and began killing and did not stop until they were all dead. Odysseus did not like for people to mess with his palace, his son, or the love of his life, Penelope. However on the flip side, Odysseus displays good self-control at the end of book XXIV of The Odyssey during the battle, Athena commands Odysseus to stop fighting.

Odysseus listens to Athena and orders his men to stop, and makes peace with his enemies. Oedipus had a hard time listening to people have self-control to make the right choice. Both of these men had motivation, for Odysseus it mostly love and passion, and for Oedipus it was fear. Oedipus had the fear that someone was always trying to take his crown away from him. Fear however, can be the best motivator but also the most destructive motivator. Oedipus’s fear motivated him to find the murderer of Laius, but does not listen when he is told, he is the killer.

Odysseus’s love for his wife and son kept him motivated through his journey and helped him get back home. His motivation for killing all of the suitors was his love for his wife; he wanted no man to have to her. His passion for his land was his motivation for going into battle. These two are different in many ways, but their pride is one thing they have in common. Odysseus and Oedipus were both kings, but one was more humble then the other. The relationships they had with their friends and family were completely different, as well as their self-control and motivation.

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