"O Cyclops! Would you feast on my companions? Puny, am I, in a Caveman’s hands? How do you like the beating that we gave you, you damned cannibal?"
Island of the Sirens - man vs. thoughts
"This way, oh turn your bows, Achaea's glory, As all the world allows -- Moor and be merry..."
On the island of the Lotus Eaters, Odysseus comes in conflict with the nature around him. Once they make it to this island, some of his men begin to eat the flower causing them to never want to leave. Odysseus struggles because it'a apart of nature that he can't make go away and he has to find a way to cure his men. Odysseus learns that some of his men are weak and that he has to look over them and monitor their loyalty.
Argus - man vs. feelings
"Those who ate this honeyed plant, the Lotus, never cared to report, nor to return: they longed to stay forever, browsing on that native bloom, forgetful of their homeland."
On the land of the cyclops, Odysseus comes in conflict with Polyphemus, one of the one-eyed cannibals by stabbing him in the eye so that him and his men can escape. Before he leaves for good, he taunts the cyclops creating a greater conflict between him and the supernatural being. Odysseus learns to not be full of himself and that once he has completed a task to go onto the next one without any extra actions.
The Suitors - man vs. man
"A pity that you have more looks than heart. You’d grudge a pinch of salt from your own larder to your own handyman. You sit here, fat on others’ meats and cannot bring yourself to rummage out a crust of bread for me!”
On the island of the Sirens, Odysseus has conflict with himself and his desire to hear the sirens. Odysseus wants to be untied so that he can listen to their song but his crew members won't allow that to happen. Odysseus struggles to stay tied up even though he knows he needs to be, causing himself to be his biggest enemy. Odysseus learns the importance of self control and how to stay under control even though it might be difficult.
The Challenge - man vs. society
"I did not miss, neither did I take all day stringing the bow. My hand and eye are sound, not so contemptible as the young men say."
When Odysseus arrives home back in Ithaca, he comes across his old dog that he trained as a puppy when he was back at home 20 years ago. When Odysseus sees him, he's devastated at what he has become because he knew he would've made such a good dog. He has to deal with his feelings as he feels bad for Argus and that he wasn't there to get him the training he deserved. Odysseus learns how important it is to take care of family and those that you care about in order for them to be the best versions of themselves.
But when he knew he heard Odysseus’ voice nearby, he did his best to wag his tail, nose down, with flattened ears, having no strength to move nearer his master.
“I marvel that they leave this hound to lie here on the dung pile; he would have been a fine dog, from the look of him, though I can’t say as to his power and speed when he was young. You find the same good build in house dogs, table dogs landowners keep all for style."
In this scene Odysseus comes in direct conflict with one of the suitors, Antinous. Antinous gets angry with Odysseus as he feels his blood boiling and throws a stool at him to express his anger. Although Odysseus is still disguised in this part of the story, the conflict between him and Antinous is still very harsh. Odysseus learns and shows how to better control his anger after this incident. Odysseus didn't act out after the stool hit him and was able to keep his emotions under control, unlike at the beginning of his journey.
“Now! You think you’ll shuffle off and get away after that impudence? Oh, no you don’t!”
When Odysseus arrives home, he comes across all of the suitors that want him dead in order to marry Penelope. He is surrounded by the entire society and has to defeat them all so he can be with his wife. In disguise, he has to complete the challenge of shooting a bow through twelve axes. Odysseus completes it with ease and learns to try his hardest no matter who comes in his way in order to be with the people he loves.