Essay about Analysis Of ' Homer 's The Odyssey '

1425 Words Nov 23rd, 2016 6 Pages
Systems that describe general rules in which good deeds are rewarded and bad deeds are punished are the foundation of a culture’s moral code. Within this code are predetermined ideas of what is right and wrong. Due to the negativity bias, the focus on the bad and how it can be punished tends have a greater effect on one’s psychological state than how kindliness is rewarded. While the two are equal counterparts, the redress of wrongs take precedence over the enforcement of rights. Retribution fits this general description of punishment being inflicted on the aggressor to the proportional degree inflicted on the victim. Contemporary morality relies on the evolution of this value. The changing attitudes towards retribution in Western tradition is exemplified in literary works spanning from the 5th Century through the 14th Century. Unlike the consistently changing attitudes, the broad definition of retribution remains constant over the cultural differences and the large amount of time covered.

In Homer’s The Odyssey, justice is based around order and balance in the universe. Retribution is used to enforce this balance and ground Homer’s society by helping characters develop a sense of what is just and unjust. To understand the attitude towards retribution, there must also be a definition of what the punishable acts are in the cultural context of the work. Scenes of betrayal, thievery, and violations of etiquette all end with the fatal punishment of death:
You dogs, you never…

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