Analysis Of The Book ' The Odyssey ' Essay

786 Words Jul 11th, 2016 4 Pages
Xenia in the Odyssey There are many themes in the book The Odyssey by Homer. Xenia, or hospitality is one of the largest, most prominent themes throughout the book. Xenia is displayed in many instances throughout the novel, and the importance of xenia is emphasized by the actions of it, but also the violation of it. Xenia is seen in the very first book of the novel when Athena inspires the prince. Prince Telemachus welcomes Athena into the home, by saying “Greetings, stranger! Here in our house you’ll find a royal welcome. Have supper first, and then tell us what you need” (1.143, 144, 145). The hospitality is recognizable in Telemachus’ welcoming ways, and after Athena is welcomed in, Telemachus’ feast commences; “A maid brought water in a gold pitcher,” (1. 160, 161) and “a staid housekeeper brought bread to serve them, appetizers aplenty too, lavish with her bounty” (1. 163, 164). Prince Telemachus is not only feeding Athena upon entry, but also giving a grand meal, complete with gold cups and a plethora of food. Athena visiting the Prince serves as the perfect example of hospitality in Greek culture, where lavish feasts are given to travellers passing through. The practice of hospitality in Greek culture extends to all travellers and guests. Odysseus’ journey is made more comfortable by the acts of xenia he receives on his expedition home. In many instances, Odysseus is on the receiving end of hospitality, in a variety of places, by a variety of people. Alcinous and…

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