Greedy Temptations In Homer's Odyssey

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Eve looks at the luscious apple on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and longs to acquire pleasure and wisdom from eating the forbidden fruit. In that moment, she picks the fruit and eats it, giving some to Adam, too. Only later would Adam and Eve realize that their sin would lead to God’s punishment on the eternity of humanity. Like this story from the Bible, all humans have learned at some point in their lives that greedy temptations have a huge price. Homer illustrates in The Odyssey that giving in to greedy temptations leads to just consequences. He shows this through the suitors’ unscrupulous desire for Penelope, as well as Eurylokhos and the crew’s irrational decision on the island of Helios. The suitors’ wrongful desire to …show more content…
… Wits like Penelope’s never were before / but this time- well, she made poor use of them / for here are suitors eating up your property / as long as she holds out /… We’ll never go anywhere else, / until she takes an Akhaian to her liking” (2:121-136). Although Penelope does not wish for suitors and instead longs for her husband Odysseus, Antinoos wants her for himself. He displays his greed for such a perfect wife when he says “wits like Penelope’s never were before”, and will thus go through all costs to “make her [Penelope] marry”. He threatens …show more content…
Eurylokhos convinces the rest of the crew to eat Helios’s holy cows instead of obeying Odysseus’s warnings: “‘Comrades,’ he said, / You’ve gone through everything; listen to what I say. / All deaths are hateful to us, mortal wretches, / but famine is the most pitiful, the worst / end that a man can come to. / Will you fight it? Come… If he flares up over his heifers lost, / wishing our ship destroyed, and if the gods / make cause with him, why then I say: Better open your lungs to a big sea once and for all / than waste to skin and bones on a lonely island’” (12:436 – 453). Despite all orders and warnings not to do so, Eurylokhos persuades the crew to give in to their greedy temptations of hunger and steal from Helios by slaughtering his cows to eat. He tempts his crew by saying “you’ve gone through everything … famine is the most pitiful, the worst end that a man can come to” and succeeds in getting them to submit to their appealing yet wrongful longings. Eurylokhos also clearly confirms that he is tempted by his greed, not just hunger, by saying “’If he [Helios] flares up over his heifers lost”, “and if the gods make cause with him”, “[better] than waste to skin and bones on a lonely island.” He shows disregard and disrespect to the gods when he values his own greedy wants over Helios’s needs. Consequently, Helios then asks Zeus

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