How Aristotle Would View Odysseus

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How Aristotle Would View Odysseus During the time of Aristotle, revenge was seen as something of honor. It was considered noble to try to restore your honor after someone intentionally caused you shame or harm. You were looked at as a coward if you did not try to sneak and plot your revenge. Revenge can either be sought after for ones own internal satisfaction, but in this book, it is usually required because of what others might think as far as ones reputation is concerned. During Aristotle’s time, if you were seeking revenge one had strict guidelines to follow to ensure that the one seeking revenge was doing it out of honor and integrity. In this paper, we will view if the character Odysseus followed these guidelines on two occasions when he was seeking revenge. The two main events of revenge in the book were against the Cyclops and the suitors that were courting his wife. The first main event that revenge occurred was when the Odysseus and his crew sailed to the land of the Cyclopes. Out of curiosity the crew wanted to make acquaintances with the Cyclopes for a little hospitality. The book describes the Cyclopes as “Lawless savages who leave everything up to the Gods…They have no assemblies or law but live in high mountain caves, ruling their own children and wives and ignoring each other” (9.105-112). Odysseus and his men decided to camp out in one of the Cyclops’s dwelling and wait for him. They really did not consider the thought that they might be harmed because during Odysseus’ time it was the law to be hospitable to strangers and guest who were foreign to your country. But as the book has already stated that these were creatures that had no laws. Now Odysseus and his men are in the cave when the Cyc... ... middle of paper ... had them all hung. As for Melanthuis, who was still tied up, received the worst punishment of all. ”Then they brought Melanthius outside, and in their fury they sliced off his nose and ears with cold bronze and pulled his genitals out by the root-raw meat for the dogs and chopped off his hands and feet” (22.497-502). Personally I think Aristotle would have been proud of the way Odysseus pulled this off. He was cunning and undercover, and most of all he took care of business. He acquired the victory on his own behalf. It is questionable if the revenge on his maids was a bit extreme and unnecessary, but would most likely be acceptable for the suitors. I am not positive if the suitors where intentionally trying to dishonor Odysseus, but their actions clearly caused him harm and shame. Odysseus honor was restored, and the suitors’ debt was paid in full.

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