Hospitality in the Odyssey

Hospitality in the Odyssey

Jacqueline Medina World Liberal Arts Teacher Brown March 13, 2011 Hospitality: Excellent or Bad? Hospitality as a theme in any literary work might not seem note-worthy. However, in Homer’s legendary poem, The Odyssey, it ends up being basic to the informing of the story. In addition to hospitality in The Odyssey, the concern of is it offered of worry of retribution from the gods or out of real generosity, is raised. What is likewise revealed is the type of which it comes in, whether it be unwanted, given too much or taken advantage of. Homer illustrates the theme of hospitality through the actions of Menelaus, the Phaeacians, Nestor, Eumaious and the suitors.

Early in, we are shown Telemakhos’ hospitality when Athena comes to him camouflaged as Mentor. He sits Athena next to himself, provides food and drink, and just asks if he has information on his father. Civilized people in The Odyssey and even today demonstrate their quality of humans in their hospitality, hoping that in return, ought to they be the getting here complete strangers or travellers, that they be dealt with in the exact same manner. It was also believed that turning away somebody and not providing them this hospitality would lead to some form of punishment from the gods.

She then informs him to go out and find info on his daddy, Odysseus, and he quickly sets sail for Pylos, land of Nestor. Going into Nestor’s palace, the crowd instantly greets him favorably. “Nestor appeared enthroned among his sons … When they saw the complete strangers a hail went up, and all that crowd came forward calling out invitations to the banquet” (Book III, 36-40). After feasting and storytelling, they turned towards the ship but Nestor stopped them saying, “Now Zeus forbid, and the other gods too, that you must spend the night on board, and leave me as though I were some pauper without a stitch, no blankets. o piles of rugs … I have all these. and while I live the only child of Odysseus will never ever make his bed on a ship’s deck” (Book III, 377-380). Telemakhos then takes a trip to Lakedaimon, land of Menelaus. When Telemakhos and Nestor’s boy, Peisistros get to King Menelaus’s castle, one of the king’s individuals saw them and asked Menelaus if he should let them in, or send them on to another lodging. In anger, Menelaus answers, “You were no moron before, Eteoneus, however here you are talking like a kid of 10. Could we have made it home again … f other guys had never ever fed us, offered us lodging? Bring these males to be our visitors: unhitch their group!” (Book IV, 33-39). What Homer shows here, is that it was anticipated that everybody be hospitable to those that are travelling/wayfarers. He likewise illustrates Menelaus as being extremely hospitable and having an apparent fondness for Telemakhos. He discusses how a host should never hold a visitor in the home, but contradicting himself after telling a story, saying, “Now you need to stay with me and be my guest eleven or twelve days more … (Reserve IV, 627-629). In Book Fifteen, Menelaus agrees to let him go however is lags in the process and when asked to send him home, Menelaus responded: “If you are longing to go home, Telemakhos,/ I would not keep you for the world, not I./ I ‘d believe myself or any other host as ill-mannered for over-friendliness as for hostility./ Procedure is best in whatever./ To send out a guest packaging, or cling to him when he’s in haste-one sin equals the other … Just let me load your cars and truck with gifts and fine ones you shall see …” (Book XV, 91-103).

An instance of abused hospitality is that of the suitors and their lack of consideration and respect for Telemakhos, Penelope and Odysseus’ estate. These are the individuals that Homer has illustrated as benefiting from the hospitality that was unwillingly provided to them to begin with. When Odysseus didn’t return from Troy and no news was become aware of his whereabouts or death, suitors from all over Ithaka concerned the home of Odysseus to court Penelope and ransack his estate. Telemakhos states, “He’s gone, no indication, no word of him; and I acquire trouble and tears-and not for him alone … For now the lords of the islands … re courting my mom; and they utilize our home as if it were a house to ransack.” (Book I, 286-294). Telemakhos and Penelope soon felt obliged to offer hospitality even though they did not want to, as was customized. They showed up at the doors of the palace when Penelope and Telemakhos planned for them to remain for a banquet or 2. The suitors more or less intruded and welcomed themselves far longer than they had wanted them to. Telemakhos recognized that they had actually far surpassed their stay and had this to inform them: “My prominent daddy is lost, who ruled among you once … y home and all I have actually are being destroyed … My mother desired no suitors, but like a pack they came … These guys spend their days around our house killing our beeves and sheep and fatted goats. absorbing our great dark wine, not caring what they do … They waste whatever … My house is being plundered: is this courtesy? Where is your indignation? Where is your embarassment? …” (Book II, 49-69). The example utilized demonstrate how the suitors reacted to the hospitality provided to them at your house of Odysseus. In reaction to the suitor’s prolonged stay, Telemakhos states, “… f your hearts are capable of embarassment, leave my fantastic hall, and take your dinner elsewhere, consume your own stores … If you select to massacre one man’s animals and pay absolutely nothing, this is rapine … I beg Zeus you shall get what you are worthy of: a massacre here, and absolutely nothing spent for it!” (Book II, 147-154). The suitors neglect what is said to them continuing to consume, at the expense of Telemakhos and Penelope’s family. In Book 14, Odysseus, disguised as a beggar, approaches his old and loyal servant, the swineherd, Eumaious.

As Eumaious is not abundant, and does not have the treasures and wealth that other grand individuals possess, all he can provide is what he has. In this case it is bread and a small amount of white wine. “You need to consume something, drink some red wine and tell me where you are from and the hard times you’ve seen” (Book XIV, 54-55). Eumaious also states, “Tush, friend,/ disrespect to a complete stranger is not decency,/ poor though he may be, poorer than you./ All wanderers and beggars come from Zeus. What we can give is slight however well implied. all we dare …” (Book XIV, 66-71).

Its not the quantity and quality of the foods, but the quantity you can afford to provide, and whatever you give is still crucial. Odysseus is grateful for his excellent manners, and says “May Zeus and all the gods give you your heart’s desire/ for taking me in so kindly, friend” (Book XIV, 62-63). Hospitality can be explored through the rich and through the bad, it does not matter about the quantity offered to a guest, but by the way and quality in which they get it. However, throughout these differences, one typical expectation of these cultures stays the same: that you should be congenial.

Uncivilized hosts make their visitors and guests feel unpleasant and unwanted. Hospitable hosts are deemed friendly and civilized. Book Seven, Odysseus goes into the land of the Phaeacians, and comes across Queen Arete and King Alkinoos. Odysseus, is absolutely nothing more than a wandering stranger to the Phaeacians. Even with no knowledge about who Odysseus is, they still provide him the appropriate hospitality that is shown of a civilized individuals. The King invites the begging Odysseus, “Alkinoos, calm in power, heard him out,/ then took the excellent adventurer by the hand/ and led him from the fire.

Nearby his throne/ the boy whom he loved best, Laodamas, had long given that held location; now the king bade him rise and provided his shining chair to Lord Odysseus” (Book VII, 180-185). Later Queen Arete states, “… Let our senior citizens gather in the morning to give this visitor a festal day … In due course we will put our minds upon the ways at hand to take him securely, easily, well and gladly, with speed, to his own country, distant though it may lie” (Book VII, 204-210). Not only do the Pheaecians treat him with regard and hospitality, however so do the royal King Alkinoos and Queen Arete.

Although Homer checks out the theme of hospitality in more excellent ways than bad, he also used bad hospitality. During Book 9, Odysseus travels to the land of the Kyklopes. Upon unexpected the Kyklopes, Polyphemos, Odysseus said, “… here we stand, beholden for your help, or any gifts you give-as customized is to honor complete strangers … Zeus will avenge the unoffending guest” (Book IX, 288-293). Polyphemos reacted, “You are a ninny … informing me, mind the gods! We Kyklopes care not a whistle for your roaring Zeus or all the gods in bliss … I would not let you choose worry of Zeus-you or your friends-unless I had an impulse to … (Reserve IX, 296-302). This goes to show the bad hospitality and how little those, such as the Kyklopes, felt about Zeus and the law of hospitality. Homer, likewise depicted the Laestrygonians, as being inhospitable. Odysseus’ men discovered a daughter of Antiphates who pointed them to the house of her mom and father. When the queen called Antiphates, he tore apart one male and ate him. The other guys ran as fast they might to the ships, and the Laistrygonians gathered on the horizon, shooting giant boulders from slings at the guys and ships.

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  • Lessons From The Odyssey

Not only did Homer demonstrate how the Laistrygonians broke the hospitality code but that they were cannibals of their own kind as well. Following this turmoil, they got to he hall of Kirke, who was deceivably congenial. When Odysseus’ guys approached the hall of Kirke, they heard her singing and weaving, and believed it safe to approach her, except for Eurylokhos. When the males went into the hall, she sat them on thrones and chairs, preparing a meal of barley and cheese with amber honey and Pramnian wine. She put something in the white wine so that they lost their thoughts of home. Not long after did the en turn to swine and she herded them into a pigsty. This hoax of hospitality, got the men to be comfy enough to invite the food and white wine provided however it was all to entrap the men. Hospitality makes the journeys of people possible and sometimes simpler. It makes it possible for the person(s) to rest and relax from their journeys. During that time, beggars or travelers often knocked on a complete stranger’s door in hopes of obtaining a place to remain. It was thought that the gods would penalize those who broke or strayed from the code of hospitality. Those who followed the code and complied with it, were thus rewarded.

Opposite of those views of the characters in the Odyssey and of Ancient Greece, today, hospitality is thought of as amusing good friends and hosting celebrations. To them, hospitality meant using all you had if only to feed and house a total stranger. All in all, the essence with this theme and for hospitality as an entire, is that you never ever know whom it is you are entering contact with. So to be courteous, generous and kind to those individuals and not expect anything in return is what a person must pursue. It’s as the stating goes “Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you.”?

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