Examples Of Loyalty In The Odyssey

1862 Words8 Pages

American society tends to tune into the belief that loyalty is not given, but earned. While this might be coined as the correct way of thinking, it strikes up the age-old question of what makes a person “deserving” of loyalty. On what grounds does loyalty become a factor of “if” and not “how”? Should loyalty be given to anyone? Do they have to do something in particular to get it, or could they just be a good person? Homer's The Odyssey gives great meaning to these inquiries and debates the question whether or not Odysseus should deserve loyalty. From his wife, Penelope, sure; from his slaves, like his swineherd Eumaeus, okay; but from his crew? The only one to return back from Troy was Odysseus, but despite being the only one to come home, …show more content…

“So they begged/ but they could not bring my fighting spirit round.” (9.557-58) Despite his crew's concern for safety, Odysseus continues to taunt the cyclops Polyphemus, which results in him cursing Odysseus to the god Poseidon. Refutation: This is true, and a valid argument. We have to keep in mind that Odysseus just saw 6 of his crew, and friends, brutally eaten by Polyphemus. Odysseus is in shock, and he’s not used to being the underdog in a fight like he was when he was trapped in the cyclop's cave. Odysseus felt powerless, and when he finally got away and was safe, he wanted revenge. People respond to trauma in many different ways, some people break down, and some aren’t bothered by it, but this is how Odysseus responds to trauma and is not a show of his character, but in some ways proves his caringness for his crew by wanting to get back at Polyphemus.

Odysseus is not only caring but is also benevolent: he is helpful and generous to his crew. One way Odysseus shows this is when they take over the city of the Cicones,
“There I sacked the city, killed the men, bust as for the wives and …show more content…

“Once we’d had our fill of food and drink I sent/ a detail ahead, two picked men and a third, a runner,/ to scout out who might live there…” (9.99-101). He did in fact command people to find the inhabitants of the island, but this is easily proven to be wrong. Later in the text, Odysseus goes back for them, “But I brought them back, back/ to the hollow ships, and streaming tears-I forced them,” (9.110-11) He clearly did not intend for them to get brainwashed by the lotuses. He forced them off the island, not even thinking about leaving them behind. He could have just left them, I mean, it’s only a couple of men right? He has so many more in his command. But no, Odysseus helps his crew to make sure that all of them can have the chance to get home, implying his benevolence once

More about Examples Of Loyalty In The Odyssey

Open Document