Essays on the odyssey hospitality


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Hospitality is to be given to all by all. Being a good host is very important in The Odyssey, even to the gods. It is a sign of respect for all no matter where they are from or how poor they appear to be. This means that as soon as you see a stranger, you invite them into your home to sit at your table just as king Nestor did. The kind of gifts given varied depending on the wealth and generosity of the host.

The Importance of Hospitality in the Odyssey Essay

For example, Aeolus, the king of the winds, gave Odysseus a leather bag which contained all the adverse winds which could drive his ships off course. IV, 34 Although, if the host is not willing to help, it is considered to be bad hospitality and proper punishments will be taken into effect. Just as good hospitality was rewarded, bad hospitality had its consequences.

Not being a good host means that you do not respect the gods, and that means trouble. A bad host does things that are out of the ordinary, such as: eat the guests, try to kill them, or both. Just as the Cyclops named Polyphemus does to two Achaeans that he discovers are in his den. Unfortunately for him, he did receive his punishment for the way he treated his guests.

Hospitality in the Odyssey

Since Polyphemus did not treat Odysseys and his men well, Odysseys wanted his revenge. When he returned home, disguised as an old man, the suitors that were guests in his house, did not give him a very warm welcome.

The Odyssey depicts the importance of good hospitality and also the consequences that follow bad hospitality. Inviting, dining, and gift gifting are the rules of being a good host and are very pleasing to the gods. Although, when good hospitality is not given, even to the poor, the outcome is very severe and sometimes is the cause of death.


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Work Cited Homer. Penelope uses clever cunning and sexual charm to toy with men's emotions and to meet her own needs while she is waiting for her husband to return from battle. The types of strategies and her relative success in using them will be examined in this essay.

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For help with this essay topic, check out this article on the role of women in the Odyssey. One might wonder why it takes Odysseus ten years to return to his homeland after he has achieved victory for Ithaca in the Trojan War. One of the reasons that his return journey is so long is that he is subject to the obligation of accepting the welcoming hospitality of people he meets along his path.

Hospitality is an important part of social exchange, honor, and the negotiation of relationships in The Odyssey.

The Odyssey

This essay will examine several episodes of hospitality to comment upon the varied functions of cordiality in Homer's society. For more information on this topic, check out this article comparing the theme of hospitality in The Odyssey and in the medieval text, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The Odyssey is typically classified as an epic, but the general reader may not identify all of the elements that justify this categorization. The Odyssey is indeed an epic because it meets several criteria of the genre.

The Importance of Hospitality in the Odyssey Essay examples | Cram

First, the epic revolves around a heroic journey that is filled with obstacles to overcome. Second, the narrative style is elaborate and characterized by an admiring tone, which underscores the hero's worthiness.

The Odyssey by Homer - Themes

Finally, The Odyssey is filled with mentions of supernatural or mysterious forces that influence the outcome of certain challenging episodes. In this essay, each of these three epic characteristics will be examined at greater length, and their significance to the overall framework of the narrative will be discussed. Throughout The Odyssey the reader notices that different characters adopt disguises to either facilitate or complicate their own or another's passage through the world.

In fact, some characters take on multiple disguises over the course of the tale.


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The goddess Athena, for example, takes on no fewer than three guises. It is not only gods and goddesses who take on disguises, however. Odysseus also negotiates the power of disguise to advance his goals and objectives.