The Odyssey

Topics: Odysseus, Odyssey, Homer Pages: 3 (1124 words) Published: October 28, 2008
Socrates, a Greek philosopher stated, "Look death in the face with joyful hope, and consider this a lasting truth: the righteous man has nothing to fear, neither in life, nor in death, and the Gods will not forsake him” (Socrates). This explains the basis for Greek beliefs that can be carried over to values and qualities of them. As in this, Homer, the author of The Odyssey, portrays many Greek values that make up a righteous man or as, Homer’s character Odysseus, an epic hero. The Odyssey is the story of King Odysseus' return from the Trojan War to his kingdom of Ithaca. Stories, like The Odyssey, are told with the intent of delivering a message that was important to their culture. Through characters and situations, The Odyssey promotes and emphasizes many important ancient Greek values such as hospitality, pride, and fate. Stressed greatly in ancient Greek culture, hospitality is evident throughout Homer’s writing, which reflects and expresses many different value systems within it. For example, when in the cave of the Cyclops, Polyphemus, Odysseus confronts him by saying, “we therefore humbly pray to show us some hospitality and otherwise make us such presents as visitors may reasonably expect” (92). To the Greeks, hospitality was very important, to the point that it was an expectation and not just a quality as it is in today’s culture. If you feared Zeus and the gods, you were to show hospitality. In opposition to this, Odysseus’ request for hospitality is followed by the Cyclops stating, “you are a fool…we Cyclopes do not care about Zeus or any of your blessed gods for we are ever so much stronger than they” (92/93). In accordance to this, the greatest reason for one to show hospitality was because they believed the gods might show up in disguise; if a god was displeased, it would inevitably lead to disaster. Therefore when one did not fear the gods there was no need to show hospitality, just as the Cyclops did not. On the other hand, Athene...
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