The Odyssey

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The Odyssey

In Homer’s epic, The Odyssey, each culture treats strangers and guests with distinct differences from every other culture. One of the most hospitable cultures was that of the ancient Greeks, exemplified in Homer's The Odyssey by both gracious hosts and guests. In Greece and The Odyssey, not only was good hospitality etiquette expected, but the added pressure that if they didn’t treat their guests with respect the gods would punish them further compelled excellent manners. The Odyssey illustrates the proper etiquette when dealing with guests.

In Homer’s ancient Greece their are many steps that a host must follow to complete proper guest-host relations, these steps aren’t enforced but are expected. When a stranger comes to your door it is important not to be rude and not ask questions before you let them relax. When a guest comes to your door you should always invite them into your house even the poorest beggar. After you invite them in, it is tradition to let them wash up and get clean. This is important because most travelers go through long treacherous journeys to go from place to place, because of the fact that Greece is made up of mostly islands with a small main land. After they have washed up the host should feed them and provide a feast, since most beggars have little to eat. Only after all of these steps have been completed is it polite to ask them questions such as who their father is, where they come from, where they are going, etc. If one did not follow these steps they would be punished by the gods. Some gods even went to the extent of disguising themselves as beggars and going to peoples houses, punishing them if they didn’t follow the proper steps for being a good Greek host.

We see here that those who were being entertained could have expected to be provided with food, a comfortable place to sit, charming company and acceptance into the day's activities. Since the traveler would not usually be wandering out of his home into the...
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