Hospitality in the Odyssey

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Jeremy Worden Hospitality Illustrated in Homer 's The Odyssey Far removed from our individualistic society today is the ancient Greece portrayed in Homer’s The Odyssey, where hospitality and good will are the main focus of these people. As decreed by Zeus himself, those who wish the favor of the Gods must welcome foreigners and domestic with hospitality. A man was supposed to offer the best of his food, his home, and his knowledge before ever asking for his guest’s name or why he was there. There was a sense that those of high status are the main givers of hospitality, but they were not the only ones commanded to offer hospitality. Homer emphasizes hospitality from everyone during Telemachus’ and Odysseus’ journeys, using a man’s…show more content…
What we learn is that Menelaus and Odysseus were inseparable friends. What an example of how Homer believes a man should act! Menelaus is extremely wealthy, very honorable, a great host, and he was best friends with the hero of the Trojan War! The man that can show hospitality is to be respected for his good nature is Menelaus. With each new proof of how honorable it is to show hospitality, we see more clearly Homer’s message of how we all should act towards our fellow man. Still, behind the hospitality, is the story of Agamemnon’s death at the hands of Aegisthus and of Orestes’ revenge. This story actually proves part of what Homer is trying to say too. For three men of integrity to agree on Orestes’ act of vengeance as the right thing to do proves how important being hospitable is. Aegisthus’ lack of hospitality cost him his life. Even if you have no dignity, you should still show hospitality if you fear for your life. At the conclusion of Telemachus’ journey, Homer’s major focus has already been brought to the forefront of the story; the suitors in Odysseus’ home are showing the same disregard for their xenos that evil Aegisthus did toward Agamemnon by plotting to kill Telemachus on his way home. Also, Telemachus and soon to be Odysseus, wish the same fate for the suitors that befell Aegisthus. But first, Odysseus must forego instances of hospitality as
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