Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey is one of the most complex pieces of literature in the field of classics, the intricacies and hidden meanings that are engrained in the text make it a perfect source to examine the behaviors that were valued and displayed in Greek society. Hospitality is one of the major behavioral patterns that is central to this epic as well as ancient Greek society. Homer helps the reader to understand this code of behavior by writing vivid scenes where the audience can see what lengths the hosts are willing to go to in order to please their guests. However, this understanding is complicated by some abuses of hospitality by the protagonists, Odysseus and Telemachus when they themselves are guests, receiving others hospitality.
In the epic The Odyssey, Homer supports the Greek tradition of hospitality when Aeolus helps Odysseus get to Ithaca and King Alcinous provides Odysseus the resources to return home to reveal the thematic understanding that society should act towards others in a way that reflects how they would want others to act towards them.
Penelope, his wife, is greatly affected; as many greedy suitors disrespect her and move into their home to try and win her hand in marriage. Throughout ‘The Odyssey’, the greed and folly of men play a huge part in increasing the difficulty and severity of Odysseus’s situations and ultimately change his fate and the directions of his journey. The greed and folly of men are largely represented by Penelope’s suitors. In the very first book of The Odyssey, the disgusting actions of the suitors were introduced to the readers.
Throughout history, feasting has been a way to bring people together, to celebrate, and to entertain. In Homer’s play, The Odyssey, food serves multiple purposes. The opulent banquet that Telemachus attends in Sparta with Menelaus displays the hospitality and wealth of the Spartan royalty, and provides key information about the whereabouts of Odysseus. While this instance of feasting displays how eating can bring people together to celebrate, overindulging in the Odyssey is also portrayed negatively. As the play progresses, readers learn that excessive and unnecessary eating is one of the reasons that Odysseus does not quickly return home to Penelope, and additionally, it is the reason that many of the crewmen do not return at all.
Phaeacia was a kingdom that was very wealthy, but rarely accepted strangers from foreign land. This sharply contrasts to Ithaca, because the palace is filled with suitors that are taking advantage of Telemachus’ hospitality and constantly eating and partying in his home. Also, Arete and Penelope are very different, as Arete is very well respected and was said to be like a goddess by the people of Phaeacia. Odysseus was even advised to appeal to Arete, rather than Alcinous, because Arete was the person who made the decisions in the palace. Penelope was not respected, especially by the suitors, as they would live in her house, sleep with her maids, and consume her wealth as they tried to get her to marry one of
As eager as Odysseus is to get back home to his wife and son in Ithaca, the shipmates on board with him are struggling with hunger and the loss of energy. Looking at Odysseus’ intense determination to return to his town, it seems as if the only idea that is filled in his mind is to go back to Ithaca without looking at the tired condition of his shipmates. Odysseus’ yelled difficult orders and tasks that were expected to be fulfilled by his sailors, and for the most part they were able to complete it. Looking at the poor men rowing day and night over the monstrous waves, Odysseus never gave them a chance to take a break and enjoy a single meal, until one shipmate decided to speak up. Even so, Odysseus was narrow-minded and thought only about
The natives there gave Odysseus and his men an intoxicating fruit of the lotus. After Odysseus and his men eat the fruit, they forget all of their thoughts about home and decide to eat more of the fruit. The only way that Odysseus can get him and his men back home is by dragging his men back to the ship and lock them up, Odysseus decides to go along with it. When Odysseus went back to Ithaca, He made the wise choice to go and see his wife Penelope. Odysseus was so brave to go see his wife because he didn’t know if she was going to recognize him at all or want to be with him for the rest of her life.
A character in the odyssey each has one of those themes against Odysseus. The first theme that odysseus always gets in the odyssey is hospitality. Hospitality is a friendly or generous entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. A example of hospitality in the odyssey is when the phaeacians give odysseus clothes and food. This happens right after he came back from Calypso’s island.
The respectable male characters such as Odysseus treat women well, but mostly for their appearance and marriage potential. Near the beginning, after washing up on the island of the Pheaecians, he meets a girl and says, “Mistress: please: are you divine, or mortal? If one of those who dwell in the wide heaven, you are the most near to Artemis, I should say,” (8). To
In Homer’s Poem, The Odyssey, Penelope is the exceptionally patient and clever spouse of the infamous hero, Odysseus, and the mother of Telemachus. One poignant factor of Penelope’s character is her patience and devotion which is displayed throughout the poem. With her husband absent for a great majority of her life for the later of twenty years and his location unknown, Penelope stays, patiently awaiting Odysseus’ return, all whilst preserving their estate and raising her son by herself. Throughout this time, she had many persistent suitors in pursuit of her, abusing her husband’s absence.
From Odysseus’ time with Calypso in Ogygia up until the moment he takes back his home and wife from the suitors in Ithaca, the struggles he faces help answer what makes for a good life. Homer uses Odysseus’ journey throughout “The Odyssey” to identify four aspects of a good life: mortality, honor, hospitality, and experiences. Homer reveals that mortality is necessary for a good life when Odysseus denies the opportunity for immortality that Calypso offers, he shows the significance of honor in his description of Odysseus’ bravery in the Trojan war and the consequent respect that Odysseus’ crew has for him, Homer reinforces the importance of hospitality in each city Odysseus travels to, and he conveys that experiences, good or bad, define a good life. The Greeks held their gods in high esteem and therefore when Homer or other characters in the epic refer to Odysseus as being “godlike,” this is one of the highest compliments he could receive.
In the Odysseus (book 9), written by Homer, (book 9) has several symbolisms throughout the episode. One major symbolism used throughout this episode was hospitality. Homer use Cyclops and Odysseus to represent the different view of hospitality. Odysseus action symbolize the poor use of hospitality. Odysseus and his men sailed to the land of the Cyclopes. When they made to Cyclopes’ land, Odysseus wants to find out if the men on the land believe “…wild savages with no sense of right or wrong or hospitable folk who fear the gods (l70 line).” Odysseus and his men enter one of the Cyclopes cave without his permission. Odysseus and his men ate all the Cyclopes food, drank his wine and took some the Cyclopes stock. Odysseus wanted to leave but he
In an epic poem, The Odyssey, by Homer, Odysseus struggles to come back home while his wife, Penelope, faces barbarous suitors who plague her house to court her for the marriage in order to claim the kingship of Ithaca. With an absence of the man of the household and a son who is not old enough to rule over the country and handle the domestic complications, Penelope endeavors to keep the household orderly and civilized. In order to prevent further chaos in the household, Penelope maintains her role as the Queen of Ithaca and Odysseus’s wife through her loyalty and cunning. For a woman who does not know when her man will return home, Penelope is extremely strong to keep hope and wait for her husband; thus, her unwavering loyalty to her husband
Before knowing that Odysseus was who he was, he paid attention to him which shows the sign of being a substantial host unlike the suitors. This is proven by when he asks Eumaeus about the stranger: “How can I welcome this guest in my house? … One man, however powerful, can’t do much against superior numbers.” (Odyssey 16.