The passage above represents the first instance that we see in “The Odyssey” that feasting, greediness in food consumption and the basic disregard for anything besides human appetite will appear. For many characters the ultimate temptation of food comes in wine, meat, and bread these things are enough to coax them away from their intended path. In many occurrences their failure to resist temptation is punished in one way or another. While, Odysseus’ shipmates get punished with death, Odysseus is punished with a delayed journey back...
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...ngry, tired, and homesick men accompanying Odysseus, the image of a plain plate of bread or cheese is plenty of temptation. When this transpires, at the cave of the Cyclops, the punishment is immediate. For Odysseus himself, however, his strength and god-like nature are beyond such base temptations and he is instead susceptible to the double-temptation of exotic and richly described foods coupled with a woman. While having a delayed journey back to his wife and estate punishes Odysseus, this is relatively minor compared to fates of others who were punished for their submission to the temptation of food by death. Odysseus sanctions the final punishment for gluttony, temptation, and sloth on the suitors living off of his land and livestock and so the theme of food images, temptation, and punishment is seen through the end of the epic poem with Odysseus’ heroic return.
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