The Consequences Of Eating In Homer's The Odyssey

1054 Words5 Pages
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. The recurring motif of feasting portrays the harmful consequences of falling prey to temptation, which include the delayal of Odysseus return home and the death of his…show more content…
However, the monsters are not as interested in the indulgence of juicy steak, wine, or even the enticing and mystical lotus flowers, but rather in human flesh and blood. The Cyclops, Polyphemus, that Odysseus encounters on his journey gruesomely devours many sailors, tempted by the thought of being able to consume human “innards, flesh, and marrow bones.” The Cyclops continues his feast, “filling his belly with manflesh and great gulps of whey” (IX 312-322), as he greedily causes the demise of many sailors. This passage further reminds readers of the negative consequences of succumbing to the temptation of overindulging. It also acts as a clear warning to readers that feasting in excess is animalistic and inhuman. The Cyclops’ feast, although abhorrent, shares similarities with Odysseus’ crew’s feasts: the power of temptation and an intense craving for food drives both of their gluttonous
Open Document