Overcoming Impulsiveness

968 WordsJul 11, 20184 Pages
It is commonly accepted that, by human nature, people are flawed beings. However, many people refuse to accept their own shortcomings. Those who do not recognize those shortcomings may be chronically plagued by them, while those who do accept their human failings can often overcome them, avoiding tragic consequences. In Greek mythology, the characters Hercules and Odysseus both exist as impulsive individuals who do not acknowledge their own weaknesses. This common tragic flaw of impulsiveness between them causes each to damage those around them due to their inability to conquer their flaws. Only through the assistance of a mentor are they each able to trounce their common imperfection successfully. When Odysseus and Hercules act…show more content…
For example, when Hercules is given the task of cleaning out the Augean Stables in a single day, he “divert[s] the flow of two rivers and [makes] them wash out the filth” (233). Here it is suggested that Hercules is beginning to overcome his impulsiveness, as he does not take the obvious and immediate approach, but he slows down and approaches the situation more tactically, using his resources to his advantage; a contrast to his typical simplistic and reactive methods. After he completes the task, Eurystheus refuses to allow the task to count as one of his 12 assigned tasks because Hercules asks for payment. Although indignant, Hercules “holds himself back from striking him” (Colum 5). By not striking Eurystheus, Hercules is once again repressing his impulsiveness and is sparing the life of Eurystheus. The successful control of Hercules’ impulsive rage supplies him with the benefit of a positive outcome relative to the carnage that usually ensues. Odysseus and Hercules both face external conflicts with the world around them as well as internal conflicts with their own tragic flaws. Through the help of the mentors Athena and Theseus, they are taught to overcome these flaws. This translates to the society of the Greeks as well as today’s society. It emphasizes the need for the ability to recognize one’s own flaws. It also highlights the importance of humility and the ability to accept the assistance of those who
Open Document