The Odyssey

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Socrates, a Greek philosopher stated, "Look death in the face with joyful hope, and consider this a lasting truth: the righteous man has nothing to fear, neither in life, nor in death, and the Gods will not forsake him” (Socrates). This explains the basis for Greek beliefs that can be carried over to values and qualities of them. As in this, Homer, the author of The Odyssey, portrays many Greek values that make up a righteous man or as, Homer’s character Odysseus, an epic hero. The Odyssey is the story of King Odysseus' return from the Trojan War to his kingdom of Ithaca. Stories, like The Odyssey, are told with the intent of delivering a message that was important to their culture. Through characters and situations, The Odyssey promotes and emphasizes many important ancient Greek values such as hospitality, pride, and fate.

Stressed greatly in ancient Greek culture, hospitality is evident throughout Homer’s writing, which reflects and expresses many different value systems within it. For example, when in the cave of the Cyclops, Polyphemus, Odysseus confronts him by saying, “we therefore humbly pray to show us some hospitality and otherwise make us such presents as visitors may reasonably expect” (92). To the Greeks, hospitality was very important, to the point that it was an expectation and not just a quality as it is in today’s culture. If you feared Zeus and the gods, you were to show hospitality. In opposition to this, Odysseus’ request for hospitality is followed by the Cyclops stating, “you are a fool…we Cyclopes do not care about Zeus or any of your blessed gods for we are ever so much stronger than they” (92/93). In accordance to this, the greatest reason for one to show hospitality was because they believe...

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...ne would know him; and now all this is coming true” (14). This shows how the gods did interfere and would tell the people on earth with symbols. The gods knew from the beginning the fate of Odysseus because they predestined it. The gods are who gave Odysseus misfortune and they are also the ones who fated him the way he did.

Through these examples of hospitality, pride and fate, one can learn of many important Greek principles. Hospitality was an extreme point throughout the epic, it was greatly emphasized for many different reasons and gestures. Also, As a quality that was shown, pride was key to respect but could lead to problems too. Lastly, fate was in the power of the god, which is shown to be true, and not only on chance. These values that the Greeks present help maintain a social rule of the culture, and provide a basis for personal growth and morals.

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