Loyalty In The Odyssey In Homer's The Odyssey

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In almost all works of literature, the protagonist is typically either the main hero or the main villain of the story. He or she is often either the person that the audience aspires to be or the person the audience aims to avoid becoming. In Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, Odysseus is a hero who is trying to reach and reclaim his home. Throughout his journey, Odysseus encounters all kinds of people and beings who affect both his trip home and the repossessing of his home. The majority of Odysseus’s encounters are either with more-than-human beings or with people from noble and royal families. Arguably the most important exception to that claim is Eumaeus, Oydsseus’ most loyal and trusted slave. If the audience digs deep enough into Homer’s …show more content…
The loyalty of Eumaeus is important to recognize especially when contrasting it to the disloyalty of Odysseus. Odysseus and Calypso “…went to a room deep in the cave, where they made/Sweet love and lay side by side throughout the night.” (5.226-227). The audience learns that Odysseus lacks a very important aspect of integrity because of his lack of loyalty to Penelope. Loyalty is an integral part of being a good human because it builds the trust people need to form relationships and is therefore needed when searching for attributes of the ideal …show more content…
He cares about Odysseus more than his own family, but he still cares for himself even more—a trait most people can all find within themselves. Eumaeus claims to miss Odysseus more than anyone else because “never again will (he) find a master so mild…” (14.155). Rather than missing Odysseus because of the person he is, Eumaeus’ chief reason for missing Odysseus is because he suspects that his next slave owner will be harsher than Odysseus. Another flaw that makes Eumaeus more human than Odysseus is fear. Throughout the epic, Eumaeus is loyal to Odysseus and Odysseus’s family. But when his life is at risk, fear causes Eumaeus to stop “…in his tracks/And set the bow down…” (21.291-392). This is important to take note of because fear is typically what differentiates a hero from a human. A Greek hero would not hesitate because he would do what needed to be done and deal with the consequences later. However, the average person would think about the risk at least a little and then decide. Eumaeus’ hesitation shows that he is not a hero but rather a

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