Relevance of The Odyssey in the 21st Century

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In telling The Odyssey, Homer clearly stated the importance of the Greek culture and values. Obedience to the Divine world, and respect for all classes of people were two of many portrayed by the characters throughout the epic. Those values practiced by the Greeks hundreds of years ago still have an affect on everyday life for us here in the 21st century. Religious patronage is still going strong, but what differentiates us from the Greeks is our lack of respect and acceptance of social diversity.

In The Odyssey, it is shown that people of lower classes are thought of as trustworthy, and loyal. On page 780, Eurycleia finds out that the beggar was really Odysseus, and is sworn to secrecy. This shows he trusted Eurycleia, and Homer was pointing out that their being lower class doesn’t mean anything more than what privileges they do or do not have. This Epic is filled with many examples of how they lead a lifestyle around fulfilling the gods’ needs, and hoping they will return the favor. Letting people into their homes without questioning their identity, just incase they were a god in disguise is an example of how seriously the Greek value of Divine obedience was taken. However, running into a god doesn’t necessarily turn out for the better. On page 768, it says, “Odysseus’s men disobey his orders, and shortly after they land, they eat the sacred cattle…punished by death”

Today, our views on social classes are a lot more critical and negative than those in the time of The Odyssey. We create friendships based only on reputation, class, and popularity as opposed to a person’s true personality. We often place importance on types of clothing that only people with a higher income can afford to buy, even in places such as school where all of the classes mix. These ideas of social differences lead to cliques, ‘a small exclusive group of friends or associates.’ (Lexico Publishing) You see cliques mostly everywhere you go such as the mall and movie theatres. They...
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