The Odyssey: The Importance Of Hospitality In The Odyssey

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The Odyssey, still today, is one of the most recognized epic poems of all times. An important theme evident throughout the epic poem is hospitality. Hospitality, the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers, is very important to the gods and goddesses. It is just as important for the guest to honor the host as it is for the host to honor the guest. A violation of the expected treatment of a guest or host during ancient Greek times would often result in violence. However, the proper treatment of the guest and the host could positively affect the guest and the host. Evidence that of the gods and goddesses feel strongly about the relationship between the guest and the host is found throughout The Odyssey. …show more content…
Athena instructs him to go to the house of his swine herder, Eumaeus. He is a faithful servant of Odysseus and Penelope. Upon his arrival to Eumaeus ' home, Eumaues says to him, "When you have had your fill of food and wine,/Can tell me your story--where you are from,/And all the suffering you have endured" (XIV. 52-54). Eumaues understands the importance of feeding and caring for the needs of the guest before asking their story. A principal that the gods and goddesses expect of the host. Eumaues also offers Odysseus what he …show more content…
I would spare them only If I myself wanted to. (IX. 265-271)
Polyphemus is an horrific host to Odysseus and his men. His poor hospitality eventually leads to the death of six of Odysseus 's men. Eventually Odysseus and the remainder of his men escaped by poking Polyphemus ' eye out. Despite Odysseus being known as a man good with words, he did not always know when not to use his words. Odysseus became too boastful and refuses to listen to his men as he shouts toward Polyphemus: So, Cyclops, it turns out it wasn 't a coward Whose men you murdered and ate in your cave, You savage! But you got yours in the end, Didn 't you? You had the gall to eat the guests In your own house, and Zeus made you pay for it. Cyclops, if anyone, any mortal man, Asks you how you got your eye out, Tell them that Odysseus, the marauder did it, Son of Laertes, whose home is on Ithaca. (X 475-479 and 500-503)
Polyphemus replies by praying out to his father, Poseidon, to ensure that Odysseus never reaches home. Although Odysseus eventually does reach his home, his actions prove to be deadly. None of his crew and shipmates make it home. The wicked actions of the guest and the host demonstrate the violence that can come from disobeying the gods and

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