We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

The Odyssey Theme: Hospitality Essay Sample

essay
The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC
  • Pages:
  • Word count: 540
  • Category: odyssey

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

The Odyssey Theme: Hospitality Essay Sample

There are many different themes in The Odyssey, but the most prominent theme Homer portrays in his epic poem is hospitality or Xenia. The act of Xenia was perhaps the most important Greek custom out of all because you see it being performed time and time again throughout Odysseus’ journey home. The Odyssey was about the twenty year long journey of King Odysseus return to Ithaca from battling in the Trojan War. The theme of hospitality is present not only while Odysseus is travelling from city to city, but also at his home in Ithaca, where his wife and son, Penelope and Telemachus’, palace is being overrun with suitors.

On Odysseus’ trying journey home, he was welcomed by several kings displaying Xenia, not only because it was Greek custom, but because it was disrespectful to Zeus, the god of hospitality, if they didn’t. After departing from Calypso’s island and facing a heavy storm Poseidon stirred, Odysseus finally landed on Scheria. The king’s daughter Nausicaa saw Odysseus and explained, “But now, you’ve reached out city and our land, you’ll never lack for clothing or any other gift, the right of worn-out suppliants come our way (6.210-213). This is a prime example of how obedient the Ancient Greeks following their strong traditions. Nausicaa didn’t hesitate to help Odysseus and seemed proud as she was describing her city, which portrays another theme which is Kleos.

The idea of Xenia was highly regarded in The Odyssey, and disrespecting it was completely unacceptable. In the beginning, Telemachus and Penelope had to unwillingly host 108 suitors who took advantage of their hospitality. This was a crime that was impermissible so Mentor explains, “Reach deep down in your heart and soul for a way to kill these suitors in your house by stealth or open combat” (1.339). This is an example of how seriously the Ancient Greeks valued hospitality and respect for the gods. It also illustrates the Greeks extreme behavior towards people abusing their cultural values.

Hospitality was so important in the Ancient Greek’s lives that they obeyed their tradition even if it may have displeased them. In book fourteen, when Odysseus returned to Ithaca and went to the swineherd disguised. Eumaeus invites him in, feeds him, and gives him a place to sleep. The text reads “Not his style to bed indoors, apart from the pigs. He geared up to go outside and it warmed Odysseus’ heart”. (14.592-595) This proves how willing the Greeks were to please their guests, for instance, Eumaeus let Odysseus sleep by the fire with goat and sheep skin, while he slept outside in the cold with the swine. This also illustrates how true they were to Xenia and Piety.

In conclusion, this evidence is a great representation of the Greeks values and lifestyle. The Odyssey illustrates the importance of respecting the gods, and of being hospitable in the Ancient Greek culture. The people in this story went to extreme measures to please their guests and protect their values, like sleeping with swine or killing men who took advantage of people’s Xenia. The Odyssey taught young schoolboys how to act, and it is obvious that hospitality was a key component to a Greeks everyday life.

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Roles in the Odyssey and to Kill...

Women in literature are usually portrayed as nurturing members of society. Typically, female characters are shown as housewives, taking care of the children and the home, but the female characters in The Odyssey are greatly different. Female characters in To Kill a Mockingbird are seen in the background, providing care for the children, cooking and preparing meals, cleaning the house, and very rarely does one...

2001 Space Odyssey

Space Odyssey The film segment chosen was the final scene from Stanley Kubrik^s 2001 A Space Odyssey made in 1968. As the name would suggest, the film is set almost entirely in the future. Already having projected itself over 30 years into the future, it would be safe to assume that this motion picture offers a wealth of imagery and futuristic vision. It does. It...

Memory vs Forgetting in the Odyssey

There are many themes of forgetting and remembering in the Odyssey of Homer. When you have a great love for someone or something it shall never be forgotten. Both Penelope and Odysseus show the importance of memory throughout The Odyssey of homer over and over again. The theme of memory and forgetting does not show only love between Penelope and Odysseus but also an important...

Odyssey Summary

Ten years after the Trojan War, Odysseus finds his way back home. By the time Odysseus is able to find his way home his son Telemachus is twenty and living with his mother Penelope in Ithaca. When Odesseus left Telemachus was only two months old. His mother has to deal with 108 suitors, who are pressuring her to agree to marriage. Telemachus goes looking for...

The Odyssey: by Homer

When we talk about epic poems, no other piece of literature finds as spectacular a position in the Greek Culture as do The Iliad and The Odyssey. Being the author of both these classic works, Homer has influenced the ancient Greek civilization more profoundly than Shakespeare has influenced English literature. “These two epics provide the basis of Greek education and culture throughout the classical age...

Get Access To The Full Essay
icon
300+
Materials Daily
icon
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
icon
Free Plagiarism
Checker
icon
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access
immediately?

Become a member

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!

logo

Emma Taylor

online

Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Couldn't Find What You Looking For?

Get access to our huge knowledge base which is continuously updated

Next Update Will Be About:
14 : 59 : 59
Become a Member