Xenophobia In Homer's The Odyssey

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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.
“‘The men here never suffer strangers gladly, have no love for hosting a man from foreign lands”(7.36-37).
This description of the Phaeacians is eerily similar to xenophobes of today. Phaeacians and some modern Americans/Europeans feel similarly in that both are wary of accepting
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First of all, even though Odysseus changes the Phaeacians’ minds about him in Books 8-13 when he tells his story, Athena tacks initial problem-solving on the victim. According to Athena, and to Homer, it is the victim’s duty to protect themselves from what the xenophobic public might do, by hiding who they truly are. Odysseus is used to being powerful -- the most important man in the room. Hiding himself must be torture for him, which is maybe what Homer was trying to achieve. Secondly, this is not a long-term solution for Odysseus or anyone seeking long-term guidance from the story. It’s a good thing Odysseus charms the King and Queen later in the book, otherwise he might be thrown out. Nevertheless, perhaps it is how bards of the day protected themselves. Book 7 of The Odyssey portrays a naive, yet authentic perspective of the real-life issue of xenophobia, but gives some depth to the problems to which even a powerful hero is
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