Thesis Statement On Hospitality In The Odyssey

The most striking example of loyalty in the epic is, of course, Penelope, who waits faithfully for 20 years for her husband's return.Another example is Telemachus, who stands by his father against the suitors.Odysseus' own home has been taken over by a horde of suitors who crudely take advantage of Ithaca's long-standing tradition of hospitality.

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The more complicated a character is, the more he or she engages these major themes.

Therefore, the most complicated character, Odysseus, appropriately embodies each of the themes to one degree or another.

In his wanderings, Odysseus receives impressive help from the Phaeacians and, initially, from Aeolus.

Circe is of great assistance after Odysseus conquers her, and the Lotus-eaters might be a little too helpful.

Zeus himself, king of the gods, is known as the greatest advocate of hospitality and the suppliants who request it; yet even he allows the sea god Poseidon to punish the Phaeacians for their generous tradition of returning wayfarers to their homelands.

Loyalty/Perseverance Another personal virtue that is a major theme in the epic is loyalty.Thinking of hospitality as a major theme in a literary work may seem odd to modern readers.In Homer's world, however, hospitality is essential. 45) refer to hospitality as a dominant part of "the only code of moral conduct that obtains in the insecure world of The Odyssey." Arriving strangers may be dangerous or harmless, and residents are wise to be prepared for trouble.Melanthius has become friendly with the suitors and insults Odysseus while the king is still in disguise.Melantho goes even further, sleeping with the enemy, showing disrespect for the queen, and insulting the beggar/Odysseus.Also an excellent if humble host, Eumaeus makes his king proud as he speaks respectfully of the royal family and abhors the invasion of the suitors.In contrast are goatherd Melanthius and maidservant Melantho.Odysseus' old nurse, Eurycleia, remains loyal to Penelope and her absent master.Eumaeus, the swineherd, and Philoetius, the cowherd, are exemplary in their loyalty to their master and his possessions.The loyal servants are rewarded; those who betray their master are dealt with more harshly.This issue, however, can be complicated because many of the people from whom Odysseus expects loyalty are actually his property.


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