Hospitality in the Odyssey
Jeremy Worden Hospitality Illustrated in Homer’s The Odyssey Far removed from our individualistic society today is the ancient Greece portrayed in Homer’s The Odyssey, where hospitality and good will are the primary focus of these individuals. As decreed by Zeus himself, those who wish the favor of the Gods need to invite foreigners and domestic with hospitality. A man was expected to use the best of his food, his home, and his knowledge prior to ever asking for his visitor’s name or why he was there.
There was a sense that those of high status are the main givers of hospitality, but they were not the only ones commanded to provide hospitality. Homer emphasizes hospitality from everybody during Telemachus’ and Odysseus’ journeys, utilizing a male’s xenos, host/guest relationships, with his visitor to presume his stability and character. If a guy isn’t pure, then he doesn’t reveal hospitality and Homer makes certain that male is put in his appropriate place through the vengeance of those he has mistreated. As far as integrity goes, there is nobody that shows this quality higher than Telemachus.
He is a moral and virtuous prince, dedicated both to his mother and to his father’s home, so when Athena appears in the house of Odysseus, Telemachus does what he can to reveal hospitality to her, but does not appear to attend to Penelope’s suitors. These men are the residue of the Earth. They have no regard for the xenos in between Telemachus and themselves. Thus, they are portrayed as pathetic, unethical no ones. On the other hand, Telemachus is represented as an honorable guy by the way he performs himself with Athena.
What makes him even more outstanding is that Athena is disguised as the mortal Mentes, so Telemachus isn’t amusing a goddess; he’s welcoming in a complete stranger and using all that he has even with the annoyance of the suitors obstructing. Homer makes sure to provide us a clear concept of what hospitality is before we begin determining the quality of the hospitality revealed towards Telemachus on his journey. Telemachus’ hospitality is the standard by which we can judge the following circumstances of hospitality or absence thereof.
In this way, Homer can discreetly teach us the virtues that he thinks define a guy’s character by providing good fortune. Athena offers Telemachus wish for his dad returning and tells him how to learn more from Pylos and Sparta. They set off together to acquire knowledge of his dad and to offer us a dose of good hospitality. Telemachus’ journey brings him to Pylos, where King Nestor invites him with open arms as he” [sits] them down at the delight in fleecy throws” (3. 40-1).
King Nestor is immediately acknowledged as a good-hearted guy since he has fulfilled the initial step in correct hospitality. Next, he asks Telemachus all the questions an excellent host would care to understand, and Telemachus’ questions in return show that he trusts Nestor to assist him in his quest to find his father. Nestor provides Telemachus a comfortable stay, provides appreciation to Odysseus, and deals with Telemachus with all the respect of a fellow king. Homer exemplifies Nestor’s honor, because he and his kid welcomed Telemachus without knowing who he was until after the banquet.
This is probably why all congenial hosts will not request a name or a purpose up until they have actually fulfilled their visitors’ needs: it is not proper to do so. An interesting thing to note is Nestor’s insight into Agamemnon’s death. Since Nestor has stability, we accept his analysis of why Orestes was validated in taking revenge versus Aegisthus. Telemachus likewise concurs how Orestes needs to be popular for his actions. It shows that the law of the time was that you had the right to penalize those who were inhospitable, even to the extremes of murder.
As a last act of compassion, Nestor’s child offers Telemachus a bath and Nestor hosts a banquet prior to permitting his guests to leave; for Sparta and the rich, warrior king Menelaus. Upon Telemachus’ arrival, Menelaus “brings [him] in to share [the] flowing banquet” (4. 41-2). Menelaus’ instinct and observance assume Telemachus’ identity before he even asks and he makes certain to offer the prince all the hospitality he should have. What we learn is that Menelaus and Odysseus were inseparable pals. What an example of how Homer thinks a male should act!
Menelaus is incredibly rich, very respectable, a great host, and he was buddies with the hero of the Trojan War! The guy that can show hospitality is to be appreciated for his good nature is Menelaus. With each brand-new evidence of how respectable it is to reveal hospitality, we see more plainly Homer’s message of how we all must act towards our fellow guy. Still, behind the hospitality, is the story of Agamemnon’s death at the hands of Aegisthus and of Orestes’ revenge. This story really shows part of what Homer is trying to state too.
For 3 guys of integrity to agree on Orestes’ act of vengeance as the ideal thing to do proves how essential being congenial is. Aegisthus’ absence of hospitality cost him his life. Even if you have no dignity, you must still reveal hospitality if you fear for your life. At the conclusion of Telemachus’ journey, Homer’s significant focus has actually already been brought to the leading edge of the story; the suitors in Odysseus’ house are showing the same disregard for their xenos that evil Aegisthus did toward Agamemnon by outlining to kill Telemachus on his way home.
Also, Telemachus and soon to be Odysseus, wish the exact same fate for the suitors that befell Aegisthus. But first, Odysseus should forego circumstances of hospitality too. In fact, the hospitality that exists to Odysseus is even higher than that which Telemachus received sometimes. We find him, in an unusual land, using no clothing and waking to some women in a forest. Within a day he is dressed and given the king’s palace in Phaeacia by the princess Nausicaa where he is raised “up from the hearth and sat … down in a burnished chair” (7. 200-1) in the very seat where King Alcinous’ most cherished boy sat.
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Though it is a banquet for Poseidon, the god Odysseus outraged Odysseus banquets for the very first time in seven years and is treated with regard and honor as people clean his feet and provide him his own personal ship from their stores to sail home with. While in Phaeacia, Odysseus does not decrease his guard, but he accepts and values the hospitality that the guys and ladies reveal him. Alcinous’ hospitality proves he is another excellent king which we should follow the examples he sets. Odysseus obviously feels confident enough to tell the story of his trials to the king and queen.
At this moment in the story, we lastly get to see what a really unwelcoming host is very first hand when Odysseus recalls his “remain” in the cavern of Polyphemus. Odysseus and his males (when they were still alive) had to stop at the land of the Cyclopes. As they travel, they take place throughout Polyphemus’ food stores and engage of them. When Odysseus chooses to remain, Polyphemus gets back and winds up consuming 2 of Odysseus’ males. You can’t totally blame the Cyclops, but he had no idea they had actually taken anything and had no right to treat his “guests” like he did, no matter how they got there.
To reveal the wrong in Polyphemus’ actions, Homer, as well as Odysseus, guarantees that Polyphemus gets what he deserves in the form of a blinded eye at the idea of Odysseus’ spear. “O Kyklops! Would you delight in my companions? Puny, am I, in a Caveman’s hands? How do you like the beating that we gave you, you damned cannibal? Eater of visitors under your roof! Zeus and the gods have paid you!” (9. 519-523) Homer holds our focus on the shame of not being hospitable by making Polyphemus cry to Poseidon.
Even though this is what gives Odysseus all his grief, it reveals that an unwelcoming person or Cyclops in this case, will spend for not respecting his xenos with others and will be shamed greatly too. In his trials, there are more times when Odysseus isn’t shown good hospitality: with the Laestrygonians and in the care of Circe. The Laestrygonians look like Polyphemus with their snacking on Odysseus’ scouts, however before there can be any retribution for their unwelcoming actions, the crews flee and make their way to Circe’s island, Aeaea.
With phony hospitality, Circe lures half the males into taking a potion that permits her the opportunity to turn them all into swine. Odysseus isn’t the male to mess with however. Homer makes it so that Odysseus conquers Circe and once again proves that being unwelcoming will normally lead to a disrespect. Once both Telemachus and Odysseus make it home, they have one last challenge; beating the suitors. The phase is set for Homer’s main point to be driven house. Throughout the story we have actually seen good and bad hosts and we have actually seen what has actually become of them due to their actions.
The suitors primarily simply lack respect when they bug and strike Odysseus in his beggar form either, however their time is up in any case. Homer will provide us one final example of why being a good host is so important. You see, through all these circumstances of hospitable and inhospitable hosts, Homer constructs a sense of what is expected from each and every person when a visitor reaches his doorstep and in the last fight all of us agree that the suitors, being as unwelcoming as they are, are worthy of to pass away.
So when Odysseus exposes himself after loosing his arrows, the sense of fulfillment that the vengeance brings is a strong and unified one since Homer has made all of us feel the exact same method. The more develop he develops, the more we all desire this one result … That is the luster of Homer. He takes The Odyssey informed in his day as an oral custom and turns it into a masterful literary impressive that has significance even into today. Homer believes that we ought to all respect our fellow guy.
In ancient Greece, that indicates being hospitable to whoever steps into your domain. Anybody who will show hospitality: Telemachus, Nestor, Menelaus, and Alcinous, is revered as a great male worthy of respect and honor, however those that can not or will not respect xenos undergo the vengeance that they get: Aegisthus, Polyphemus, the Laestrygonians, and Circes. Homer desires all of us to be congenial in our lives and he uses Telemachus’ and Odysseus’ journeys in The Odyssey to show us this. Works Mentioned Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fagles. Penguin: New York, 1996