Culture In The Odyssey

1985 Words8 Pages

The culture in the Odyssey was defined by the individuals who lived in it, unlike today's culture where people change who they are to fit in with today’s society. The human communities in the Odyssey wanted to keep peace with the gods and one another. The people thereby depended on leaders and kings who had the wisdom and experience to guide them, such as Odysseus or his father, Laerte. The decisions were made by the majority, those people who held higher rank in the community had more pull in the decision making process, however this system worked against those people who had yet to gain respect in the community. For example, younger men, like Telemachus, had this disadvantage. They usually did not have the option to oppose the majority unless …show more content…

In the battle of Troy Odysseus led his men with great confidence; on the battlefield the men trusted him with their lives. There are many versions of the Odyssey, and they all translated the word anex into king; however Odysseus was not a sovereign king. Odysseus was considered to be a great leader in battle and a man greatly respected among the people of Ithaca. It was unlikely either the people of Ithaca or his men treated Odysseus the same way kings are treated in today’s society, with supreme authority. Odysseus was between twenty and thirty years old when he left for the battle of Troy, so he most likely did not make a huge impact on the region of Ithaca before he left. However his father was an elder in the city, and he did have the respect of the community which probably influenced people's opinions of Odysseus. Odysseus was very wealthy, which was also a way to have more influence in someone’s authority. Our society associates wealth with power. Today’s society does not place value on the wisdom and guidance that our elders could offer us. Thereby our elders do not receive the same respect in society as the elders in Ithaca …show more content…

Guests were expected to be treated kindly, and welcomed wholly with food and drink. They were to be entertained with whatever they needed. The people believed that they had to follow those traditions they would be punished by the gods. For some examples of themis, when Telemachus met with King Nestor and when Odysseus arrived at the Phaeacian Palace. There were times when themis was not used, like when Circes turned Odysseus's men into pigs and held him captive. She treated Odysseus with care, but she did not show any hospitality to his men. Odysseus disguised himself as a thes, and the people of Ithaca showed him no themis, but instead they treated him as something disgusting. Through their actions towards Odysseus the suitors’ honest opinions and morals were revealed. If they had actually had goodness in their hearts they would have treated him with respect and kindness even though he had a lowly status. Telemachus showed his compassion when he took the man that everyone believed was a thes into his home despite his destitute. In today’s society you can also tell what someone’s intentions are by their behavior towards the less fortunate. When the people in Ithaca did not help remove the suitors Telemachus and Odysseus took justice into their own hands. They killed the suitors and took revenged for their honor, however this caused a greater conflict between

Show More
Open Document