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.
A major theme in the Odyssey is reciprocity: people getting what they deserve. Reciprocity is an important theme in the Odyssey because it explains why Odysseus’ journey was very long and treacherous. Eurylochus, Antinous, and Odysseus all suffered consequences due to poorly made actions. Each of them made the wrong decisions which lead to death and a long/adventurous journey.
The Odyssey by Homer seems at first glance to be an ancient text, separated from the modern world. However, the problems that The Odyssey’s characters face are still very real today. One example of this is that Odysseus experiences xenophobia when visiting Phaeacia in Book 7. Odysseus is probably the most powerful character in the book; he is graced with more polymetis than any man in Greece. Yet, in Phaeacia, Odysseus needs to be disguised in order to not be penalized for not being Phaeacian. Because of the Phaeacians’ attitude towards foreigners, Athena, disguised as a little girl, warns Odysseus of the Phaeacians before leading him through the city.
Throughout the story, Odysseus demonstrates his courage that ultimately allows him to survive. One of these moments was during his journey back to Ithaca, where he faces a race of man eating giants called the Cyclops. Odysseus originally stops his ship there to relish a feast while on his journey back to Ithaca, but while doing so, out of curiosity explores the island. Soon, he finds a deserted house and decides to wait of the owner. The owner was unknowingly one the Cyclops, named Polyphemus.
Homer uses the Gods and Goddesses impact on Odysseus to show how redemption can be earned which is illustrated through Foster's quest theory. Circe, Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, and Helios are gods that symbolize mythological ideas, whereas in the Odyssey they symbolize lessons Odysseus needs to learn. Odysseus is a man that is judged by the gods all the time, he is on a journey to get home to his family from war. Odysseus does not always make the best decisions and it gets himself in big trouble. Circe, the goddess of sorcery, “informs him that in order to reach home he must journey to the land of the dead, Hades, and consult the blind prophet Tiresias” (Homer 699).
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.
The cyclops Polyphemus effectively sets up the entire plot of Homer’s Odyssey, unleashing Poseidon’s wrath on Odysseus and consequently emerging as one of his most formidable rivals. Despite being perceived by Odysseus as an uncivilized savage and the polar opposite of a Greek citizen, it becomes evident that although the two are opposed in terms of customs, they fundamentally resemble one another when analyzed through the lens of xenia, rendering Odysseus’ worldview xenophobic. Thus, the Polyphemus episode turns into a powerful allegory for how the West has traditionally viewed people from foreign cultures that they sought to subjugate. Odysseus regards Polyphemus as inferior because of behavior that he sees as uncivilized when compared to
Odysseus and his crew debate what to do with their discovering of the cyclops’s goods, “Ah, how sound that was! Yet I refused. I wished to see the cave man, what he had to offer - no pretty sight, it turned out, for my friends” (ln 153-156). Coming across the cyclops 's cave, Odysseus immediately conveys interest in exploring the abode of the one-eyed creature and waiting for him to return. Although his crew offers a
In the Iliad, hospitality is a reoccurring theme that can change situations, inspire character development, and link itself with other themes to make concrete points. Throughout the Iliad, situations are dramatically shifted when hospitality is used. In many cases, when things are going awry, hospitality allows the characters to, instead of acting like animals, find the humanity inside themselves. For example, in book nine, Nestor proposes a feast for Achilles to try and get him to rejoin the Greek force. Hospitality is especially important in this example, because Achilles was angry but also hospitable. If Achilles was angry but not hospitable the scene would have played out much differently. When Achilles is angry but not hospitable, like in the original fight between him and Agamemnon which
Xenia, The Law of Hospitality The theme of Xenia was one of the most spotted out in The Odyssey, which is the Law of Hospitality. The Law of Hospitality is being polite to strangers who need assistance but it is more than it’s a host and guest relationship. Xenia is seen throughout The Odyssey. Xenia provides an effort of making the community a safer and better community.
The Odyssey begins as Odysseus leaves an island he was trapped on for 10 years to go back to his hometown, Ithaca. However, we do not know if he will make it back, as it is highly probable that he will die. The Odyssey is a Greek Epic involving some of their ancient Gods. On the way to Ithaca Odysseus faces many challenges while his wife deals with challenges of her own at their house. Suitors have taken over Odysseus’s home, and are all trying to marry Odysseus’s wife, Penelope. However, some characters in the epic display many great qualities. In The Odyssey by Homer, loyalty, courage, and trickery are displayed throughout the book in a positive manner, showing that they are the Greek’s cultural values.
TS1 (Thesis): In The Odyssey, Homer depicts Odysseus’ real foe as the theme of temptation with displays of hubris and lustrous goddesses, which portrays the importance of being vigilant to not submit to temptation. ST1: Homer depicts that Odysseus is determined to get home, but Odysseus succumbs to temptation when he leads his crew into the cyclops lair, eats the cyclops’ food, and demands for a gift, resulting in a protracted journey home. 1: Homer displays Odysseus as recklessly brave when he requests, “we’re at your knees, in hopes of… a guest-gift”(9.300) from the cyclops. 2: It is apparent that Odysseus has given into the temptation to be arrogant when he declares for the cyclops to give them, “a guest-gift,” after Odysseus and his men have broken into the cyclops lair, showing even further Odysseus’ isn’t vigilant to
Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, chronicles the homeward bound voyage of the main character, King Odysseus of Ithaca. After Trojan War which lasted ten years, Odysseus sets foot on another adventure, which also spans ten years, to return to Ithaca. Odysseus is gone from his home for a total twenty years, but upon his arrival back to Ithaca, he finds that his title has been defended by his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus, who have been awaiting his return this entire time. Odysseus and Penelope are meant to be a model couple, so people often argue about which of the two is more admirable. To be admirable is to have faced a struggle with honor and dignity. Although Odysseus has been on a terrible journey, he has not always reacted with honor and dignity like Penelope does. Penelope shows honor and dignity when she practices xenia, does not marry a suitor, and forgives Odysseus.
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.