Are there any good quotes in the Odyssey concerning temptation, hubris, retribution, and loyalty?

1 Answer | Add Yours

noahvox2's profile pic

noahvox2 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

For the subject of hubris, I think I would have a look at Odyssey 9 and Odysseus' encounter with the Cyclops. When the Cyclops declares that he and the other Cyclopes are greater than Zeus and the other gods, this strikes me as a clear example of hubris.

As for temptation, the instance that come to my mind primarily involve Odysseus' men in Books 9-12. Surely, they are tempted by the bag of winds Aeolus gave to Odysseus (see Odyssey 10). They also give in to the temptation to kill Helios' cattle in Odyssey 12.

On the topic of loyalty, Odyssey 14-16 seem like good places to consider. This is where Odysseus stays with his swineherd Eumaeus. During Odysseus' stay with the swineherd, Eumaeus makes it clear that he is loyal to the master he believes is still absent:

"But the swineherd was averse to staying there away from his hogs, and prepared to go outside. Odysseus was delighted to see him take such care of his master’s herd in his absence." (A.S. Kline translation).

As for retribution, Odyssey 22 would probably be the place to look. This is, of course, where Odysseus slaughters the suitors who have been pursuing his wife Penelope. Surely, this book contains many comments on retribution. Odysseus' encounter with Leodes has a nice quotation on retribution.


We’ve answered 317,828 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question