Theme Of Loyalty In The Odyssey And The Iliad

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In the world of Homer, the successful role of the family is crucial in how father and son relationships develop. In The Odyssey and The Iliad, the bond between father and son is important for the development of the family role in honor and pride, along with the expectation of loyalty from the son to the father and vice versa. In The Iliad, Hector is loyal to his father, Priam, when Hector himself heads back to the war without a second thought. Meanwhile, in The Odyssey, Orestes is loyal to his father, Agamemnon, when Orestes himself avenges his father’s killer. Meanwhile, Laertes is loyal to Odysseus because he is honored to see Odysseus back from war, and lastly Telemachos is prideful to stand in his father’s throne and continue the legacy …show more content…
Odysseus disguised as the beggar tricks Laertes to see if his father is still loyal to him and Laertes says, “’If you have found him yet live in the land of Ithaca, he would have sent you along with gifts in return, and given good entertainment, as is right for him who has given” (Homer. Odyssey. 24. 284-6). This lamentation from Laertes shows how remains loyal to his son, even if he does not know the exact location of his son. This loyalty is important because it demonstrates that it does not matter the situation between the father and son relationship, it is crucial for both to remain loyal to one another. The reason for this loyalty is that it shows society that this family name is one in which trust is put in loyalty. Hence, all the sons of sons related to this family will be perceived as honorable in loyalty. Odysseus expects that his father remains loyal to him regardless of the situation Odysseus is in, whether he is dead or alive or captured in some island, his father must always be loyal. Later with great excitement, “He [Laertes] threw his arms around his dear son, and much- enduring great Odysseus held him close, for his spirit was fainting” (Odyssey. 24. 347-8). This reunion demonstrates how Laertes will stand and help Odysseus as an act of loyalty, even at his old age and state, which it is …show more content…
Telemachos says in front of disguised Odysseus, “’I would still be found here as one now able to take up his father’s glorious prizes’” (Odyssey. 21. 114-6). This pride of Telemachos receiving his father’s throne demonstrates that he will perpetually show loyalty to his father. This is important because Odysseus notices that in his absence, Telemachos will continue his legacy of loyalty to him. Odysseus then tells his son Telemachos, “’… you [Telemachos] must be certain not to shame the blood of your fathers, for we in time past all across the world have surpassed manhood and valor’” (Odyssey. 24. 507-9). This advice demonstrates how regardless of any situation, Odysseus still expects Telemachos to never dishonor the family loyalty, because Telemachos sees that his family loyalty is crucial for his honor. Telemachos responds, “’You will see, dear father, if you wish, that as far as my will goes, I will not shame my blood that comes from you, which you speak of’” (Odyssey. 24. 511-2). This affirmation shows that Telemachos will continue his loyalty as expected. His affirmation is important because he is stating this in front of everyone, and if he were to dishonor the family loyalty, Odysseus and Laertes will be seeing as disloyal too. Now, Telemachos will pass his loyalty to his son and his son to his son, and

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