Odysseus’s Biggest Obstacle

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Throughout Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus is trying his best to get home to his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus. Many things keep Odysseus away from Ithaca. Odysseus even has flaws that postpone his own homecoming. Odysseus has the best intentions throughout The Odyssey. He wants to return home to his family and once again rule over his kingdom at Ithaca, but the gods and goddesses play a large role. Odysseus angers Poseidon, the god of the sea, when he tortures the Cyclops Polyphemus, who is Poseidon’s son. Odysseus’s fatal flaw is hubris or excessive pride. It is this excessive pride that causes Odysseus to belittle the Cyclops after he has blinded him. Odysseus had no need to yell at the blinded Cyclops; he had already escaped from the Cyclops’s harm. Odysseus just felt so proud of his victory over the Cyclops, that he wanted the Cyclops to know who was responsible for his injury. This caused Odysseus lots of trouble all throughout the rest of his journey. Poseidon’s anger toward Odysseus greatly sets back his journey because Poseidon controlled all the seas that Odysseus sailed upon. Odysseus is so eager to get home to his kingdom and his family, but he makes mistakes along the way. When Odysseus has his love affair with Circe, he stays much longer than what is required of him. Circe only requires that he sleep with her in order to get his men back, but he stays and rests. What he believes has been a few nights is really much longer. This puts a great set back in his journey. Odysseus does care a lot for his wife, Penelope, but he should have been thinking about her more while he was living in the lap of luxury with Circe. When he was relaxing, his wife was still back at Ithaca patiently awaiting his return. Odysseus should not have been so prideful and proud of the victory of turning his men back to humans from animals. Thinking he

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