Analysis Of Homer 's Epic Of The Iliad And Odyssey

903 Words Jun 27th, 2016 4 Pages
With this personal narrative, I will analyze two themes from Homer’s epic’s pertaining to the Iliad and the Odyssey. I have chosen hospitality (Xenia) and shame (Aidos) as the subject of interest, and will focus on these as a main source of the topic.
Xenia is the ancient Greek word for “hospitality”, which is the consideration and kindness shown to those who are far from home and/or associates of the person bestowing xenia upon them. The rituals of hospitality created and conveyed a reciprocal relationship between guest and host expressed in both material benefits such as the giving of gifts to each party as well as non-material ones such as protection, shelter, favors, or certain normative rights.
In Homer’s epic tales of the Iliad and Odyssey, the perception of hospitality as a recurring theme is evident in both. In Ancient Greece the gods demanded it from mortals and demi-gods alike. The quality and degree to which today’s society follows in that tradition have changed in form only, but not in substance. Food, shelter and protection of strangers from the cultural norms of today, as the people of Ancient Greece were more inclined to take in strangers worn weary from their travels. In the Iliad, the writing establishes that in times of war, xenia is offered to even the enemy. Housing strangers in one’s home showing kindness and portraying xenia were very common characters of the Ancient Greeks. Many weary travelers strode by foot or sailed by boat to reach far-off…
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