Should Odysseus Be Judged for His Violence Towards the Suitors?

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The great tactician Odysseus is a strong and noble leader. He is very smart and uses his swave intellect to escape many dangerous and tough situations. As well he is a convincing speaker and can convince who he is talking to do his bidding. He is a strong willed man and now that he is home from his 20 year treacherous journey, he wants to be happy with his wife and finally learn what a great man his son had become. The suitors have been in Odysseus kingdom for about the last 10 years, eating his food, drinking his wine, killing his livestock, and most importantly, badgering his queen, Penelope, into marrying them he has every right to kill every last one of them.

The head suitor, Antinous, is an arrogant man who annoys Penelope. He is the one that plots to kill Telemachus so marrying the queen will be an easier task. Odysseus is not fond of this. Antinous is the first one he shoots down with his bow. He brutally slaughters the suitors in book 22 titled “Slaughter in the Hall” and does not let a single one survive. Odysseus was ethically correct in the slaughter of the suitors. They disrespected his property, family and he and he had every right to take out his anger on them. Some plea and even brave Leodes clutched the knees of Odysseus and said,

I hug your knees Odysseus! Mercy! Spare my life! Never, I swear, did I harass any woman in your house never a word, a gesture--- nothing, no, I tried to restrain the suitor whoever did such things. They wouldn’t listen; keep their hands to themselves so reckless, so they earn a shameful fate. But, I was just their prophet, my hands are clean and I’m to die their death. Look at the thanks I get for years of service.

Following this, Odysseus killed him. He was justified for the acts that he did. As well this is in ancient Greece where people killed each other and thought nothing of it. A man’s life is not precious and valued as it is today.

Also in that time, everyone is expected to...
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