Pride as a Theme in Greek Literature
An analysis of pride as a theme that is written about with great fervor in Greek literature, with specific reference to “Oedipus the King”, “The Odyssey” and Aristotle’s Poetics.
The following paper draws upon the similarity between Oedipus the King, The Odyssey and Aristotle’s “Poetics” in terms of how pride dictates the characters actions. However, there are differences in how the theme of pride is played out in each story. According to the author this is because the different styles in which these two works are written use different devices, aesthetic qualities and temporal movements to develop this theme.
“Both Odysseus and Oedipus posses a multitude of traits, but pride is the most prevalent, as well as the most dictatorial, because it seems to be the touchstone for all the action, as well as the element that pushes both stories forward. Oedipus’s pride is demonstrated in the beginning of the play where he states, “I, Oedipus, whose name is known afar.”(25). This is reinforced by the priest’s replies of, “Oedipus great and glorious,”(26) and, “O greatest of men.”(26). Odysseus, on the other hand, allows his pride to get in the way when he yells out his true identity to Polyphemus. And by injuring Polyphemus, Odysseus incurred the wrath of Poseidon, Polyphemus’ father (160-162). Yet, even though these are both instances of pride within the respective characters, they play out diiferently.”