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Hubris is excessive pride with a lofty self-respect totally apart from reality; it distorts a person’s view of the world, much like a funhouse mirror. Hubris is a characteristic of the protagonist, Odysseus, in the epic poem, The Odyssey, by the blind poet Homer. The hero Odysseus is a dynamic character who, blinded by hubris, changes his perspective on life according to the positive and negative experiences he endures and overcomes during his adventure. He faces many challenges on his long journey that lead to his becoming the true epic hero which his pride makes him believe he is in the first place. From eluding a massive Cyclops, to floating all alone in the middle of the ocean on a wooden plank, Odysseus survives it all with the help of the gods on his epic quest to become a true hero.
One of the first challenges Odysseus faces during his ten-year expedition involves the Cyclops monster. A son of Poseidon, the one-eyed Cyclops traps Odysseus and many of his crew members in his cave. Being the clever, creative person that he is, Odysseus comes up with a plan to stab the Cyclops in his eye with a huge wooden spear. When the beast falls asleep, many crew members push aside the huge rock blocking their only exit. Odysseus gives the okay, and they thrust the weapon into Poseidon’s son’s eye. They escape through the exit wearing sheep wool so, if grabbed, the Cyclops will think that they are sheep. While most of the crew escapes, the vane Odysseus perceives himself as the hero and the one responsible. As usual, he takes all the credit, thus maddening the gods for not acknowledging their contribution to the escape.
A later challenge that changes Odysseus’ perception is when he faces the deadly music of the Sirens. Odysseus wishes to hear the music that lures many ships too close to the rocky shore resulting in death and destruction. The selfish Odysseus needs to hear the music and insists on being tied to the mast while the crew puts beeswax in their ears, thus allowing them to row near the Sirens. They row far away from the shore so as not to hear the music through the wax in their ears at all. Odysseus screams and shouts...