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Quotes

Quote #10

(Odysseus, in his tale:) 'Aias, son of stately Telamon, could you then never even in death forget your anger against me, because of that cursed armor? The gods made it to pain the Achaians, so great a bulwark were you, who were lost to them. We Achaians grieved for your death as incessantly as for Achilleus the son of Peleus at his death, and there is no other to blame, but Zeus; he, in his terrible hate for the army of Danaan spearmen, visited this destruction upon you. Come nearer, my lord, so you can hear what I say and listen to my story; suppress your anger and lordly spirit.' (11.553-562)

Talk about pride: Telamonian Aias was so invested in being #1 that he killed himself when Odysseus won Achilleus's armor. We guess he his #1 in something: being a sore loser.

Quote #11

(Odysseus, in his tale:) "Come then, goddess, answer me truthfully this: is there some way for me to escape away from deadly Charybdis, but yet fight the other off, when she attacks my companions?" 'So I spoke, and she, shining among goddesses, answered: "Hardy man, your mind is full forever of fighting and battle work. Will you not give way even to the immortals? She is no mortal thing but a mischief immortal, dangerous, difficult and bloodthirsty, and there is no fighting against her, nor any force of defense. It is best to run away from her." (12.112-120)

Odysseus isn't one to back down from a challenge, but Circe has news for him: there's no way out of Scylla and Charybdis without losing some men. The fact that Odysseus actually listens to Circe instead of trying to fight anyway shows us that—just maybe—he's starting to tamp down some of the pride that got him into this mess in the first place.

Quote #12

[Melanthios] recklessly lashed out with his heel to the hip, but failed to knock him out of the pathway, for Odysseus stood it, unshaken, while he pondered within him whether to go for him with his cudgel, and take the life from him or pick him up like a jug and break his head on the ground. Yet still he stood it, and kept it all inside him. (17.233-238)

Odysseus controls his raging dignity. He takes offense at being touched so offensively by a lonely goatherd, but reins in his pride long enough to keep his crucial secret.

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