Code Of Morality In The Odyssey

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Although Zeus is surrounded by gods who prioritize their own desires and self-interest, Zeus remains the main enforcer of morality which manifests in the forms of enforcing the code of hospitality and the upholding of justice. His sense of morality overrules his self-interest and partiality towards his fellow gods. Zeus maintains his moral values and does not fail to act upon these values when dealing with both gods and mortals, despite the fact that his connections to the gods are deeper than his relationships with humans.
In Homer’s world, one of the most prevalent themes is the code of hospitality. It is a concrete and central institution in The Odyssey as mortals and gods alike acknowledge the code of hospitality as their fundamental moral
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King Alcinous and Queen Arete shower Odysseus with gifts and wealth while dedicating a sumptuous feast for him filled with entertainment, tales, songs, and merrymaking. Odysseus regales his audience with his heroic achievements in Troy and the chains of disaster that befalls him because of the selfish whims of the gods such as the nymphs Calypso and Circe. He also recounts the tale of when he gains the ire of Poseidon for blinding his Cyclops son, Polyphemus. Despite knowing that Poseidon—the Phaeacians’ ancestral god—has a grudge against Odysseus, they still escorted Odysseus back to Ithaca while giving him more than enough treasures that can be considered more than what Odysseus could have acquired in Troy. This act of being too generous, especially to someone Poseidon considers as an enemy has damaged Poseidon’s honor and reputation. Poseidon exclaims to Zeus, “Zeus, Father, I will lose all my honor now / among the immortals, now there are mortal men / who show me no respect—Phaeacians, too, / born of my own loins” (Od. 13.145-48)! This exclamation shows that the act of tending to every needs and granting hospitality to anyone has offended Poseidon and he wants retribution against the slight made by the Phaeacians. Zeus replies to…show more content…
Zeus carries out his justice to those who deserves it, disregarding any sort of connection that he has towards the individual. As a result, he is able to hand out impartial punishment towards those who wronged his principles or the principles of others. An example of this is during the assembly of gods at Zeus’s halls to discuss the fate of Aegisthus. During the assembly, Athena takes this opportunity to plea to Zeus to aid Odysseus’s return to Ithaca. Athena takes advantage of Poseidon’s absence to persuade Zeus because Poseidon is a significant factor that prevents Odysseus from returning home. Zeus gives Athena the permission to guide Odysseus home because he believes that Poseidon will soon let go of his grudge against Odysseus. Zeus proclaims to

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