Hospitality With Odysseus And Polyphemus Essay example

Hospitality With Odysseus And Polyphemus Essay example

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Hospitality with Odysseus and Polyphemus

In the 9th book of The Odyssey by Greek Writer Homer, you meet the great and terrible cyclops, Polyphemus. Between the interactions of Odysseus and Polyphemus you can see some of the ways both characters break the rules of hospitality. Both characters act in ways that would be frowned upon today, as well as, back in the time of the Greeks.
In the beginning of book 9, Odysseus starts off by recounting part of his travels. Like on page 272, line 43 he says ‘In Ismaros. I pillaged the town and killed the men’ after which the remaining villagers went after them. Then Odysseus and his crew end up fighting the natives before leaving. After that they run into a ‘freak hurricane’ (p. 272, l. 70). From there they find themselves on the land of the Lotus-Eaters, where Odysseus losses more of his crew when they ate the fruit there. It made the men lose all their will. The affected crew has no desire to do anything and are in a daze like state. After fleeing that land, they end up on the land of the Cyclops. The land of the Cyclops is described as an almost paradise in terms of the land, but the residents of the land leave much to be desired. On page 274, it says ‘… [the land of the Cyclops] it’s not a bad place at all; and it would bear everything in season. Meadows; lie by the seashore, lush and soft.’
As I stated previously, Odysseus pillaged a town while traveling. He shows rude and inhospitable behavior there and he does again in his dealings with Polyphemus. One such example is on page 275, here we see the crew entering the home of Polyphemus without permission, ‘we went inside and looked around’ (l.209). They entered while he was away, and this is the first breach of hospitality between the tw...


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...olyphemus actions, they would both be breaking the law in several ways. Frist off when Odysseus just enters the cyclops home, well that’s called trespassing and it is illegal. The second is when Odysseus takes without asking or stealing food from the cyclops which is once again not allowed. And the big one, which is the cyclops eating the crew- that would be a major no-no and would result in many years of prison and some serious therapy. Odysseus actions of poking out his eye would actually not be illegal, but instead be called self-defense since he acted under threat of life.
For both Odysseus and Polyphemus there are many ways they both failed in bring hospitable. The actions of Odysseus when he trespassed and took the food. Then, the cyclops actions in eating his guests. Neither of the two showed any hospitality- in ancient Greek society or modern day America.


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