Guest-Host Relationships Within the Odyssey (Citations Included)

Guest-Host Relationships Within the Odyssey (Citations Consisted Of)

According to Webster’s New World Dictionary a political relationship could be “social relationships including authority or power,” which makes guest-host relationships political due to the fact that the host often has authority over the visitor considering that the host is in his own town/ kingdom, while the guest remains in a foreign location. The way that one may deal with a visitor in today’s time and the manner in which visitors were treated in Ancient Greece and The Odyssey vary greatly. In The Odyssey, Homer utilizes guest-host relationships as an ethical standard against which behavior is determined.

When the ritual is preformed properly by guest-hosts, excellent results take place. On the other hand, the offenses of this ethical standard leads to misfortune. This idea was taken really seriously by individuals of Ancient Greece and it can likewise be discovered throughout the story. An excellent example of a visitor host relationship where both the guest and the host behave appropriately is the relationship in between Telemachos and King Menelaos. As a visitor Telemachos treats his host with respect and dignity. He addresses Menelaos as “my lord” to provide reverence to his generosity and to be courteous.

Telemachos is very complimentary to his host by saying “Zeus needs to have such a place. (The Odyssey 44)” when describing Menelaos’ home. He does this to let him know that he will be a good guest which he is a correct gentleman. Menelaos shows that he to can be an excellent host and offers Telemachos food and shelter even when there is a wedding going on. He states “go and get their horses, and bring the guys in to share our feast”(The Odyssey 44). This shows that Menelaos must be a great host specifically to give them shelter during a wedding event. Due to generosity of both guys good ideas are bound to ensue.

For Telemachos the good result he receives is the precise news of his father’s whereabouts. For Menelaos the great outcome is that whenever he might need help Telemachos is constantly there for him. Another example in which there is an excellent host and a great guest is the relationship in between Odysseus and Eumaios, the swine herd. Despite Odysseus’ look as a beggar, since he remains in disguise, Eumaios treats him with the exact same respect as he would anyone. He takes him into his home and tells him to “eat away” and to enjoy himself. Eumaios’ benefit is that his life is spared by Odysseus.

H Nevertheless not all guest-host relationships are ones in which the visitor and the host act effectively. For example, the relationship between Odysseus and Polyphemos, the Cyclops. When Odysseus initially reaches the cavern of Polyphemos it says he “walked briskly to the cavern, but discovered him not at home … so we got in (The Odyssey 104)”. This action is not an excellent way to be a visitor because he can be found in uninvited. He even goes a little additional he says “we lit a fire and … assisted ourselves to as numerous cheeses as we wished to eat” (The Odyssey 104).

This is another method he is a bad guest because he takes what he desires even without it being provided to him. Upon Polyphemos’ return he to shows he can be a bad host since “he picked up a fantastic substantial stone and positioned it in the doorway” that made escape practically difficult. He continues his streak of meanness by eating a few of Odysseus’ men. It states he “devoured them like a mountain lion, bowels and flesh and marrow- bones and left absolutely nothing” (The Odyssey 106). Odysseus get angry and develops a strategy which will enable him to leave.

He then takes a wooden rod and “thrust the sharp point into his eye and leaned hard on it from above and turned it round and round” (The Odyssey 107). This is the penalty Polyphemos receives for his being a bad host. Nevertheless Odysseus also receives a punishment for entering into Polyphemos’ house without approval and being a bad visitor. His punishment is the excellent loss of men which he receives, his fast evacuation of the island, and the anger he gives Poseidon; which causes him to have the suitors come to his house and wreak havoc in his kingdom.

In Ancient Greece, they shared the exact same beliefs that are depicted in The Odyssey: bad hosting will lead to something bad happening and vice versa. The encyclopedia of Ancient Greece quotes, “The guest-host relationship was evaluated to be so spiritual that its guidance was positioned under the security of Zeus Xenious” (715 ). It is also priced estimate in The Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece that Zeus would send other Greek Gods down to punish who ever revealed indications of bad hosting, and to offer all the best to those who showed signs of excellent hosting (716 ).

This was a belief shared by many Greeks of that time, however it was likewise simply a courteous thing to be excellent to your hosts. I In The Odyssey and in Ancient Greece, the guest-host relationship was very essential to the security and well being of the people. They thought that if among the 2, either the guest or the host, acts improperly something bad was bound to take place. This concept was practiced usually by the people and they usually lived their lives in harmony by dealing with guests well; nevertheless if among them broke these guidelines then something bad taken place. Bibliography: Homer, The Odyssey The Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece

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