Community And Responsibility To A Community In Homer's The Odyssey

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The idea of community and responsibility to a community are prevalent throughout Homer’s The Odyssey. This epic follows a war weary Odysseus in his adventure home; his greatest desire being to return to his homeland and family. Odysseus’ journey from Troy to Ithaca gives him ample opportunity to encounter different peoples and places, allowing Homer to explore the effects of different cultures on his character and demonstrate his unending desire to return home. The Odyssey shows Homer’s penchant for community throughout, but is ultimately demonstrated by the fate Penelope’s suitors meet for their defilement of proper communal standards. Odysseus is painted as a fair and kind King of men as well as a brave and effective warrior. His fairness is not only demonstrated via the dialogue of men in the poem, but in his dealings with those he encounters. Odysseus and his men go ashore on the island of the Cyclops and despite the urging of his men not to do so, he takes a party to the dwelling of one of the creatures. He is curious to see if they will be met with barbarity or hospitality. Quickly they discover that the Cyclops live solitary lives and do not cater to guests. Several of his men are devoured before they can make their escape from the cave-prison in which they had been trapped. The social norms in which Odysseus was looking obviously did not exist, yet he was willing and eager to discover this for himself. The …show more content…
He makes mistakes along his quest for home, but never gives up hope to return. The fact Homer made him an imperfect character is important because it illustrates that redemption can be found by man. Those who stay the proper course, while fallible and able to be led astray from time to time, can be welcomed back into their own community just as Odysseus was. The underlying character of the man was ultimately his salvation and the key ingredient to his

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