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Quotes

Quote #7

(Odysseus, in his tale:) ‘Cyclops, in the end it was no weak man’s companions you were to eat by violence and force in your hollow cave, and your evil deeds were to catch up with you, and be too strong for you, hard one, who dared to eat your own guests in your own house, so Zeus and the rest of the gods have punished you.’ (9.475-479)

Translation: "How do you like me now?"

Quote #8

(Odysseus:) 'So they spoke, but could not persuade the great heart in me, but once again in the anger of my heart I cried to him: "Cyclops, if any mortal man ever asks you who it was that inflicted upon your eye this shameful blinding, tell him that you were blinded by Odysseus, sacker of cities. Laertes is his father, and he makes his home on Ithaka." (9.500-505)

Odysseus managed to get (most) of his men off of the Cyclopes' island, but he just can't let a good thing be. He had to go and open his big mouth, practically giving Polyphemos his address and Facebook password. Smooth move, big guy.

Quote #9

(Odysseus:) ‘Nevertheless we sailed on, night and day, for nine days, and on the tenth at last appeared the land of our fathers, and we could see people tending fires, we were very close to them. But then the sweet sleep came upon me, for I was worn out with always handling the sheet myself, and I could not give it to any other companion, so we could come home quicker to our own country; but my companions talked with each other and said that I was bringing silver and gold home with me, given me by great-hearted Aiolos, son of Hippotas; […] and the evil counsel of my companions prevailed, and they opened the bag and the winds all burst out. Suddenly the storm caught them away and swept them over the water weeping, away from their own country.’ (10.28-36, 46-49)

Could Odysseus’s pride be the culprit here? If he had told his men what was in the bag rather than lording it over them, they never would have opened the sack. On the other hand, his men’s sense of pride is responsible too—because they are too high-and-mighty to just put up with what their captain tells them.

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