In The Odyssey, what is a situation where Odysseus takes risks, and what's a different situation where he acts arrogantly?  (Besides in the Land of the Cyclops)

Expert Answers
favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Odysseus takes a risk when he builds a raft to leave Calypso's island in order to travel home.  Remember, he has already gravely angered Poseidon, the god of the seas, by blinding his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus.  Although Calypso gives him wine, water, food, and a fair breeze, it is still just a raft on which he travels and the ocean is big.  When he gets near Phaeacia, Poseidon sends a terrible storm, and if it weren't for the veil Ino gives Odysseus, he might not have survived.

Odysseus's arrogance gets him into trouble when he is given the bag of winds by Aeolus.  Aeolus bags up all the winds which would blow Odysseus's ships from home, and then sends the one left to push their ship toward Ithaca.  However, Odysseus did not tell any of his men what the sack contained, and, moreover, through ten days of sailing, he refused to sleep and would not let any other man steer the ship.  Finally, on the tenth day, when they can see Ithaca's shores, he falls asleep.  His crew assumed he was being greedy; they thought that he had been given more gifts and was trying to hoard them for himself, and so they open the sack.  If he had been honest with them and not felt it beneath him to tell them what the bag contained, they would not have betrayed him and they all would have gotten home a lot sooner.

Unlock This Answer Now