What Ancient Writers Say About Excessive Pride?
Ancient writers have mocked excessive pride in their literature. They create characters that are arrogant and full of pride to show how people can get drunk with personal possessions and success. In Homer’s epic¸ Odysseus is full of pride after winning the Trojan War. Instead of acknowledging other warriors who participated in the war, he identifies himself as the only warrior who was brave enough to win the war. The same case applies to Job in the Bible. He boasts how God has blessed him with good life. However, no matter how successful Job and Odysseus are, their pride ends with some misery. This paper explores what ancient writers say about excessive pride by investigating the character of Odysseus and Job in the Bible.
Odysseus was full of pride after the Greek warriors won the Trojan War. He could not be controlled by anyone. Due to pride, he declared himself as the one who had won the battle. He does not even recognize the power of the Greek gods as the one who empowered him and the soldiers to win the war. For example, he acknowledges himself as the one who came up with the idea of the wooden horse. “In addition, he does not believe that the gods helped in any way when the sea monster was sent by Poseidon to wipe out the Trojans” (Woodhouse 201). Odysseus pride is experienced when he proclaims himself as the winner of the Trojan War and this is what marks the beginning of his downfall.
Ancient writers explain that a pride warrior or person is the one who goes looking for trouble. There are several occasions in which Odysseus explores his world only to discover trouble. For example, he is the one who explores the caves only to find the Cyclops. “After he enters the cave, the cave inhabitant returns who turns out to be the Cyclops Polyphemus” (Woodhouse 223). The Cyclops is the son of Poseidon. He first appears to be hospitable, but soon turns out to be hostile, which he proves by devouring two of Odysseus men. At this point, any normal person could beg for mercy or look for means to escape but Odysseus seems focused to prove a point that he is the greatest Greek warrior who ever lived. As a result of his pride, Odysseus is locked up in the caves by the Cyclops to be eaten later.
Pride people are commonly fond of their personality and achievements and that is what they use to save themselves when they face problems. In the Bible, Job relies on God for personal fulfillment and that is what facilitates to his success. Ancient writers use Jobs story to explain that no matter how successful a person is, he or she must be submissive to the superior beings. The good relationship that existed between Job and God was based on faith and trust. Job had unshakable faith in God and he always acknowledged Him as his provider and consoler. When he is tested by the devil, he still believes in God. When his wife tells him, “are you still trying to maintain your...