The Role Of Hospitality In Homer's Odyssey

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The stories and epics of the great Greek heroes were each composed of a long journey that was greatly aided by the idea of hospitality. Most think of hospitality as the warm, friendly welcoming into your home. However, hospitality is merely defined as the relationship between the host and guest and can be negative or unfavorable. In the Odyssey, Odysseus learns to adapt to the different forms of hospitality. Homer clearly demonstrates the positive and negative effects of the frequent offering of hospitality throughout Odysseus’s journey in the Odyssey.
Throughout Odysseus’s journey, he encounters many whom are hospitable and provide him the resources and advice that are essential to completing his journey. Odysseus comes across Circe, who “from the Underworld, put on her finest clothes and came to see us. Her serving women brought meat, bread, and bright red wine,” (Book XII, 18-20) When the men arrive at Circe’s island, she provides them a feast and welcomes them kindly. She gives them further advice and directions that would aid them throughout their journey. This hospitality gave the men essential information and time they needed to continue on their journey. For example, she advises them to tie up Odysseus and plug their ears as they pass the sirens. This advice ends up saving their lives because they never would have known
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All were welcome into your home and were offered the food, clothing, and shelter they needed. Among many ancient societies such as Greece and Rome hospitality was a major part of the social structure. In many epics written by Homer and others, some form of hospitality is present. In the Odyssey, Odysseus relies on this prevalent hospitality to supply him with what he needs. However, he finds that not all beings live this way. His encounter with the Cyclops showed how their can be negative consequences to inviting oneself into another’s
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