Illustration of Odysseus tied to a ship's mast

The Odyssey

by Homer

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In The Odyssey, what other examples prove that Odysseus is arrogant, besides when he yells his name to the Cyclops?

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Within The Odyssey, Odysseus additionally shows his arrogance with his insistence on remaining in the cyclops' cave, insisting on receiving a gift. Furthermore, there is his decision to listen to the sirens' music, as well as his earlier interruption of Circe, insistent on fighting off Scylla. Finally, there is his overall attitude towards his crew, with Odysseus quick to spread blame onto others, refusing to hold himself accountable for his own failure as a leader.

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It is worth noting that, even within his adventure with Polyphemus, Odysseus shows his arrogance in more ways than one. Note that it was Odysseus who was insistent on staying in the cave in the first place, intent on receiving a gift from his would-be host, even as his followers...

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wanted to flee back to the ship. That insistence would see them captured and trapped in the cave by the cyclops to be devoured.

However, Odysseus's arrogance can be seen throughout his various adventures. Another key example can be found in his adventure with the Sirens and his insistence on listening to their song. In addition, there is his initial instinct to attempt to fight off Scylla, even going so far as to interrupt Circe with the words:

"Yes, yes,

But tell the truth now, goddess," I protested.

"Deadly Charybdis—can't I possibly cut and run from her

And still fight Scylla off when Scylla strikes my men?"

First of all, when reading these interactions, you should keep in mind the very real difference in status between Circe and Odysseus, given that Circe is a minor goddess. With that in mind, interrupting her in this fashion, as she is advising him on his his homeward journey, even implying dishonesty on her part, shows an element of recklessness by Odysseus. Circe responds to his challenge by chiding his stubbornness and insistence on fighting:

"So stubborn!" the lovely goddess countered.

"Hell-bent yet again on battle and feats of arms?

Can't you bow to the deathless gods themselves?

Scylla's no mortal, she's an immortal devastation,

Terrible, savage, wild, no fighting her, no defense—

Just flee the creature, that's the only way."

Odysseus does end up heeding Circe's words, but his initial intransigence and gainsaying of a goddess can be interpreted as a dangerous display of hubris on his part.

Finally, you should take into account his overall attitude regarding both his companions and himself. For example, regarding the sacking of Ismarus, Odysseus says the following:

Then I urged them to cut and run, set sail,

but would they listen? Not those mutinous fools;

there was too much wine to swill, too many sheep to slaughter

down along the beach, and shambling longhorn cattle.

Later, when Odysseus returns to the island of Aeolus, he exclaims: "A mutinous crew undid me—that and a cruel sleep." Here, to be fair to Odysseus, it should be noted that his crew often is disloyal and mutinous, but even so, this disloyalty has to (on some level) be regarded as a failure of Odysseus's own capabilities as a leader. Regardless, in his underlying attitude, and the way he frames this narrative for his Phaeacian audience, we observe a mindset by which Odysseus is quick to spread blame onto others, refusing to hold himself accountable as their leader.

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One could reasonably argue that Odysseus shows arrogance in wanting to hear the song of the Sirens, those strange creatures who lure sailors to their deaths against the rocks of their island. The Sirens' song is renowned for its extraordinary beauty, which is why so many sailors cannot resist its beguiling charm. Odysseus doesn't want his men to suffer a similar fate, which is why he insists that they plug up their ears with beeswax when they sail past the Sirens' island.

As for Odysseus, and this is where his arrogance comes into the picture, he won't block out the Sirens' song; he's going to listen to it. He wants to be able to say that he's heard their song and yet lived to tell the tale. So he orders his men to strap him to the mast as the Sirens do their thing. No matter how much Odysseus begs his men to set him free as he undergoes the exquisite torture of listening to the song that ravishes his ears with its heavenly beauty, they must ignore him.

Odysseus didn't really need to listen to the Sirens' song. As with the case of insulting the Cyclops Polyphemus and revealing his name, he was overcome with pride, the kind of pride that only a great warrior-king can display.

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The first time Odysseus showed his arrogance is when he won the battle at Troy. He yells out to the gods that he doesn't need them. Also, he does not give a sacrifice to the gods for helping the Greeks win the victory. This is arrogant behavior. This is arrogant because it shows that he doesn't need the help of the gods. In return for his arrogance, the gods create a difficult journey home for Odysseus. 

Also, Odysseus shows his arrogance again when he blames the situation solely on his men. He calls them mutinous fools. In book nine, on page 213, line 50, Odysseus talks of his crew cruelly:

"Then I urged them to cut and run, set sail
But would they listen? Not those mutinous fools.
Too much wine to swill, too many sheep to slaughter."
He blames the situation completely on his crew, taking no responsibility like a mature person, and as the crew's captain. 
In this passage, Odysseus is arrogant. He blames everything on his crew. He is self centered, self righteous and all important. His behavior is obnoxious. He does not appreciate all that his men have been through while trying to get home.  
Odysseus is arrogant when he listens to the Sirens singing. He does not put wax in his own ears. He takes a chance and could have caused his crew great harm. 
Likewise, Odysseus yells out his name to the Cyclops. As Odysseus and his men are safely escaping the Cyclops, Odysseus yells out the following:
If any man on the face of the earth should ask you
Who blinded you, shamed u so,- say Odysseus
Raider of cities, HE gouged your eyes."
Now, the Cyclops knows who blinded him. He prays to his father Poseidon for help. Odysseus loses more men because of his arrogance. 
In the end, Odysseus is humbly on raft about to drown and he cries out to the gods for help. The gods save him. 
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