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Odyssey and Loyalty

By locket88 May 15, 2012 1977 Words

“I would die for you.” says boyfriend to the girlfriend.These four words are of great importance in regards to loyalty.What is loyalty?What does a person mean by saying I am loyal to you? This essay critically examines/discusses/traces the topic “loyalty.” When we look up to the dictionary to find out what loyalty means,what we come across is some kind of definition like the state or quality of being loyal;faithfulness to commitments or obligations.But still this definitinion sort of stays up in the air.There has got to be something more than that. Loyalty involves obedience, sacrifice and compassion of the heart.It is a very broad term which may be applicable in case of one's family, locality or the country. A loyal person is ready to sacrifice even his own life for the sake of his master, friend, relative or the country. A loyal person bears a moral character, honest outlook, and disciplined manners. A truly loyal man cannot be bribed or tempted to deviate from his own path. He is like a stone pillar which is firm and strong to stand any force that may try to penetrate through it. He is absolutely dependable in all circumstances of life. In this world, there are only a few instances of loyal personalities, who are well-known. In those days, some of the kings and emperors were lucky to have certain loyal commanders who fought for their kingdom and saved their masters again and again from the hands of the enemies, even at the cost of their own lives. Loyalty is common among the courageous soldiers and servants. There are also instances of pet animals, such as dogs, horses or elephants, who, out of loyalty, gave their lives for the interest of their masters. Loyalty is a quality which is found mainly among the brave and the bold characters. Meek and weak persons are mostly found lacking in the spirit of loyalty. Loyal people can become great leaders, great commanders, or great administrators in life. Disloyal persons are hated and disbelieved by" all. He is a curse to his people, to his society and to his country. He must be exposed and brought to task, as and when detected.

Loyalty is also important in the work force. For example, an employee is supposed to be wary of his personal attitude no matter he is on or off the job. Imagine an employee of Mercedes Benz Company trying to sell his customer's personal information to another company in order to earn some profit. As a loyal employee, he should not sell customer's personal information to other company because he must protect the customer's privacy. Nowadays, customer's personal information is very confidential. The employee's action is considered as a breach of loyalty to both the customers and the company. Under this situation, the employee can be fired and therefore loses trust and respect as a faithful person.

Being loyal and faithful is essential. No matter in politics, work force, or any part in people's lives, loyalty contributes to how people can be judged and respected by their peers, friends, and other people. As an important saying goes, 'honesty is the best policy'. Being loyal to people also means being honest to them. Without being faithful and loyal, people will fail to appreciate and apply their moral values.   Loyalty is the essence of every functioning relationship. In order for mutual trust to occur, one must be loyal to the other, and vice-versa. No relationship can exist without trust; trust and loyalty go hand in hand. However, loyalty should not be taken as an unconditional, narrow concept. Sometimes being a good, loyal friend means having to break this very same loyalty. Part of being a good friend is knowing where morals override loyalty. For example, if you are witnessing your friend going through trouble that he or she cannot get out of themselves, the best thing to do, for their own benefit, could be to tell someone, regardless of that person’s disapproval. A loyal person should be reasoning and moral.  Loyalty was shown by Odysseus in that he was very loyal to his crew. He help them and they helped him. An example of this is when Odysseus see Elpinor at Hades and goes back to the island to burry him. He also is loyal when he goes and rescues them from Circe. He could have not buried Elpinor and he did not have to rescue his crew from Circe. Another person that show loyalty is Penelope. She could have just picked one of the suitors but she believed Odysseus was alive and she was going to wait for him. The sad part about this is that Odysseus was not loyal to Penelope. Either way she was very loyal and it all worked out in the end. Intelligence was also used in Odysseus trip to get home. Odysseus used his wits or intelligence to make a plan to get the Cyclopes to role the stone away and for them to be able to escape. Odysseus did this by poking the Cyclopes in the eye and blinding him. This plan took a great deal of intelligence. Also along his trip Odysseus had to choose weather to go past Scylla and Charybdis or take another route. He chose Scylla and Charybdis and only lost six men per boat until he got to Charybdis. But if Odysseus chose the other way it would have been certain death for all the men including him. Another way intelligence was used by Odysseus was the plan to kill the suitors. Odysseus could have just stormed in his house an tried to kill the suitors but he would have been killed. He did not do that. Instead Odysseus waited until the time came where he could take them by surprise. He did that and won his house back. Without both intelligence and loyalty Odysseus would have never made it home. He would have been killed on the way home or even at Troy. This just goes to show having many good qualities helps in doing anything. Odysseus showed both loyalty and intelligence and that is why he made it back to Ithaca. There is also a tale of loyalty that I would like to share in this essay: There was once a lord that ruled over a farmland in a beautiful valley. The lord was a wise, just, and merciful ruler. The valley in which they resided was split into four sections, the main city and three villages. One day, a group of dark robed men came to the eastern village. They gathered everyone together and asked them to reject their lord. For a time the villagers stood for their ruler, but as soon as the robed men threatened them, the villagers broke and fled. They cursed and rejected their lord as they ran. The dark men moved on to the southern village and, behold, the villagers there immediately renounced their lord.The strangers in robes killed them all, for they knew, if the villagers turned on their leader that easily, then it would happen again. The stranger then moved on to the western village. When they arrived, they once again gathered everyone into the village center. “Renounce your lord and we shall give you 100 gold pieces each,” said one of the dark men. One of the village elders stepped forward and said, “No mere physical possession may buy our loyalty.” “Be you sure of this answer?”

“Yes,” the villager said simply.
“Very well then,” another of the dark men said.
They proceeded to kill the village livestock. The dark men then left, but they came back the next day. “We ask you again, reject your lord. Instead become loyal to us.” “Those who demand the loyalty of others, have no loyalty themselves. As long as our lord lives, so shall we stay loyal to him,” replied one of the village elders. “Then you shall starve.”

The dark men then burned the villages crops.
On the third day, the the robed figures came for the last time. “You would be unwise to refuse us again.”
“We shall deny you thrice more if we have to.” When this was said all of the villagers nodded in agreement. “Our lord shall come against you for what you have done here.” At these words, the dark men laughed.

“And were is this lord of yours? I do not see this fool of which you speak.” “Our lord shall protect us from these heathens,”said another village elder as he turned to the other villagers. “What makes you think he would waste his time to come save the likes of you?” “Because he already has.”

And there, behind the robed men, was the lord and his splendid army. The lord had heard what had happened at the other villages and had come to help. Over the next hour, the army killed all of the dark men.

When they had finished, the lord came over and asked, “Why did you allow them to cause you this grief? You could have denied me and yet you did not.” “You have been a just and loyal ruler. Why should we not have just as loyal?” The lord was impressed and grateful to the village and, from that day forth, they were protected well and were always heard when matters needed attending. Loyalty to family, community, and the gods is an important quality in the lives of ancient Greek citizens. These qualities are clear demonstrated in The Odyssey through Penelope, Telemakhos, and Odysseus. Penelope shows her loyalty in several ways. She shows loyalty to Odysseus by waiting for his return for twenty long years. She did not choose a suitor until she knew for sure that Odysseus was dead. To delay the decision of choosing a suitor, Penelope said she would marry a suitor after she had finished weaving her shroud. She showed that she was weaving the shroud during the day, but at night, when it got dark she secretly unwove it. That is how Penelope shows her loyalty to her family. Telemakhos also shows loyalty to his family and community in various ways. He shows loyalty to the community by welcoming strangers to his home with feasts and gifts. He shows loyalty to his family by risking his life on the search for the knowledge of Odysseus situation. He journeys to Pylos and Sparta to seek news of his father whether he is dead or lost. This shows loyalty to Odysseus because he risks his life to know of his well being. This also shows loyalty to Penelope by journeying to Pylos and Sparta, even though his path may be dangerous, just so he can find knowledge of Odysseus and ease his mother s pain. He also shows loyalty to Penelope by trying to protect her and keeping the suitors away from her. During the final battle, Telemakhos shows loyalty to his father by fighting side by side with him against the suitors even though he knows he might die in battle. Odysseus shows loyalty like Telemakhos and Penelope to the gods and his family. Odysseus is a man that can be described as tenacious. He is always focused on one objective and that is to get home. He is persistent and overcomes any temptation that gets in his way. An example of this is when he is with the beautiful nymph Kalypso. She offers him immortality to stay with her and leave his thoughts for home but he gave it all up for his family and home. He never gave up hope and continued to trudge his way back home. He also shows loyalty to the god by not cursing them for all the harmful events that occur during his journey home.

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