The Odyssey Report

1377 Words6 Pages
The Odyssey Report

In The Odyssey , Homer uses guest-host relationships as an ethical norm against which behavior is measured. When the ritual is preformed correctly by guest-host, good results ensue. In contrast, the violations of this ethical norm results in misfortune. This idea was taken very seriously by people of that time and it can be found throughout the story. A great example of a guest host relationship where both the guest and the host behave properly is the relationship between Telemachos and King
Menelaos. As a guest Telemachos treats his host with respect and dignity. He address menelaos as "my lord" to give reverence to his kindness and to be polite.
Telemachos is very complimentary to his host by saying "Zeus must
…show more content…
This is another way he is a bad guest because he takes what he wants even without it being offered to him.
Upon Polyphemos ' return he to shows he can be a bad host because "he picked up a great huge stone and placed it in the doorway" which made escape almost impossible. He continues his streak of meanness by eating some of Odysseus ' men.
It says he "devoured them like a mountain lion, bowels and flesh and marrow- bones and left nothing". Odysseus get angry and devises a plan which will allow him to escape. 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". This is the punishment Polyphemos receives for his being a bad host. However Odysseus also receives a punishment for entering into Polyphemos ' house without permission and being a bad guest. His punishment is the great loss of men which he receives, his quick evacuation of the island, and the anger he brings to
Poseidon; which causes him to have the suitors come to his house and reek havoc in his kingdom. The final example of a guest-host relationship in which both the guest and host act unaccordingly is Odysseus and the suitors. Odysseus reaches his home and finds his house in shambles. The suitors continuously refer to
Odysseus as a "nuisance" and at one point one of them decides to show his anger.
"Then picking up the footstool, he threw
Open Document