Loyalty in Odyssey

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  • Topic: Odyssey, Marriage, Odysseus
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  • Published : March 19, 2006
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Loyalty in The Odyssey

Loyalty is defined in the Webster's dictionary as faithfulness or devotion to a person, a cause or a duty. Through this definition, it can be expressed that loyalty is a major theme in Homer's epic, "The Odyssey". The author presents four mayor illustrations of loyalty, which are given by Penelope, Telemachus, Eumaeus and Philoetius and Odysseus. Penelope is Odysseus faithful wife who not only doesn't re-marry but also keeps hope that Odysseus is still alive and will someday come home. Telemachus embarks on a journey in search of his father, who has never actually met. Eumaios, the swineherd and Philoitois, the cowherd, remained committed to their duties as true servants of Odysseus. And ultimately, Odysseus shows a true devotion to the goddess Athena, who has manage to kept him alive. The author reveals the character's loyalty toward a husband, a father, a master and a mentor through their actions and wording.

The character of Penelope is an illustrious representative of loyalty in this epic. Penelope is a faithful wife, who after twenty long years apart from her husband, still refuses to marry one of the awaiting suitors. There even came a time when Penelope told the suitors that she would wed once she finished Odysseus's father shroud, yet she narrates how , ".. by day I'd weave at my great and growing web-by night, by the night of the torches set besides me, I would unravel all I'd done" (Homer, Book XIX ,p 431 ,167 ). The fact that she devises schemes to keep the suitors distracted shows her intention to remain true to Odysseus. The author uses this scenario this to prove her complete loyalty to her beloved husband. Homer repetitively portraits Penelope as the embodiment of true loyalty. She remains faithful to her husband, even when she is clearly told by her own son, "..of strong, enduring Odysseus, dead or alive, he's heard no news" . (Homer, Book XVII, 122 ). By showing her devotion toward some one she once love...
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