Theme Of Reciprocity In The Odyssey

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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. Eurylochus was the first to be killed by Odysseus and his men due to his actions. When Odysseus and his crew were out at sea, he remembered what Athena told him. Athena told him that no matter the circumstances make sure your men don 't eat any living thing from Helios island and don 't tell them why. Odysseus knew he was approaching the island therefore he told…show more content…
Do you ever tire? God, look at you, iron is what you are made of. Here we all are, half dead with weariness falling asleep over the cars and you say no landing-no firm island earth where we could make a quiet supper”(pg;839 L162-168). Many storms came and went so instead of wanting to stay there for two days, they stayed for two months. Eurylochus got what he deserved because Odysseus told them to swear they wouldn 't eat the cattle and they all told Odysseus they wouldn 't. Eurylochus made the whole crew turn against Odysseus and disobey his orders. Eurylochus convinced the crew to go behind Odysseus’ back and do what they were told not while Odysseus was sleeping by saying “Comrades, he said, you 've gone through everything; listen to what I say. All deaths are hateful to us, mortal wretches, but famine is the most pitiful, the worst end that a man can come to. Will you fight it?...better open your lungs to a big sea once for all then waste to skin and bones on a lonely island”(pg 841 L221-257). When Odysseus found out, he blamed Zeus because he 's the one who put Odysseus to sleep. Helios asked Zeus…show more content…
Odysseus suffered the consequence of being away from his son, Telemachus, and his wife, Penelope for 20 years. Odysseus was told by Athena and other gods, what to do during his journey. All of them told Odysseus that he couldn’t tell his men because they’d suffer a consequence. Odysseus listened to Athena and the gods because he only thought about himself and didn 't think about what his crew would say or do. When Odysseus and his crew passed by the mainland where the Cyclops lived, they were only going to stay for two days, but then out of curiosity, Odysseus wanted to see what kind of beast the Cyclops was which made them almost die. Odysseus didn 't even ask his crew whether they should do it or not because Odysseus made it seem like their opinion wasn’t important and didn 't matter. In the story, it says “Why not take these cheeses...Yet I refused, I wished to see the cave man, what he had to offer” (pg 818 L198-199). Odysseus deserved to return home from his journey after 20 years because it was mostly his fault. If Odysseus had told his crew about everything like why not to eat the cattle or to not open the bag of the unfavorable winds, his journey wouldn 't have taken 20 years. When Odysseus and his men traveled to the floating islands of Aeolus, god of the winds, who then gave Odysseus a bag containing all of the unfavorable winds, he didn 't even think to mention it to his men. Odysseus fell asleep when Ithaca was in sight, but his men, believing that
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