What vice [character flaw] gets Odysseus into trouble?

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Susan Woodward | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Odysseus' ego is what really gets him into trouble.  After blinding the Cyclops, Polyphemus, Odysseus could have made a clean get-away without anyone except the crew to know who had blinded him.  Odysseus had told the Cyclops that his name was "Nobody", so that when the Cyclops was screaming in pain that Nobody blinded him, those who heard his cries went away.  But Odysseus, being the arrogant man that he is, wants to make sure that Polyphemus knows who stuck the stick in his eye, so he shouts his name and address from the safety of his ship as he passes by.  Since Polyphemus had been told by a prophet that a man named Odysseus would someday blind him, but that he could be healed, Polyphemus was not angry.  He even invited Odysseus to come back.  Odysseus, in his arrogant manner, said that if he came back, he'd do more than just blind the Cyclops.  Now this is what made Polyphemus mad and led him to ask for his father Poseidon's help in cursing Odysseus, thus forshadowing all the rest of the obstacles Odysseus had to overcome in order to get home.