Xenia is the generosity and hospitality the Greek give to their guest when people come over to their home. Hospitality plays a major role in Greek society. In American society, today hospitality is not a priority. The most we do is let guest in to sit and offer maybe food and water. In the Odyssey Homer shows in Greek culture that hospitality is very important several times in the text and should treat everyone as royalty.
Odysseus first displays a great lack of empathy for the cyclops when comparing how different his lifestyle is to Polyphemus’. For example when describing how the Polyphemus lives he says in disgust, “He was quite unlike any man who eats bread, more like some wooded peak in the high hills, standing out alone apart from the others.”(9.190-192) It is apparent from this quote that Odysseus does not respect those who work on their own. He thinks that Polyphemus is uncivilized and a lesser being just because his lifestyle is different from that of Odysseus’. In addition Odysseus distances himself from the cyclops by comparing their size, describing the cyclops as, “so huge he cannot possibly be man”. Rather than trying to find similarities between himself and the cyclops he obsesses on their differences. Based on the fact that Odysseus clearly does not even try to understand what the cyclops life is
Odysseus’s arrogance is shown throughout the poem, but it is clearly shown during his time with a cyclops named Polyphemus. When Odysseus and his men enter a dangerous cave because of their leader’s foolish curiosity and meets Polyphemus, Odysseus says “It was our luck to come here; here we stand,/ beholden for your help, or any gifts/ you give-as custom is to honor strangers,” (256-268). Here Odysseus is practically demanding that the cyclops treat him and his men with courtesy just because he is a guest. His arrogance and pride makes them stay with the dangerous cyclops even though they had a perfect chance for escaping from cyclops at the very beginning before the conversation even started. If only they quickly left with some cheese or nothing at all, Odysseus wouldn’t have lost so many men. Because of Odysseus’s arrogance, six of his men were eaten by the cyclops. Another example when Odysseus arrogance is shown was just
The Odyssey is an epic poem attributed to the now-famous Greek poet, Homer, written approximately in the early sixth century B.C.E. The poem shares the tale of the wily adventuring solider, Odysseus', return from the Trojan war to his wife and home in Ithaca. The poem details his misadventures, the efforts of his son, Telemachus, to find him, and revenge on his wife's suitors. While many themes run through this poem, the most prevalent is that of hospitality. The Host-Guest relationship is significant in the Odyssey as it acts as one of the main thematic devices used by Homer and examples of good hospitality versus bad hospitality and their results serve as the main plot elements throughout the tale.
Odysseus thinks that his reasoning are final and his activities are constantly just and right, although he frequently allows his ego control his rational thinking, resulting harm to his group and messing with the gods’s plans. His men could have went back home Securely for it is the desire of Athena and the other heavenly gods who surround to her in Mount Olympus, however Odysseus takes it to himself to outrage and blind Polyphemus, the monstrous son of Poseidon, adored by his dad yet abhorred by the people, In this way distrusting their whole arrangement . Subsequent to being blinded by the heroine, Polyphemus tosses huge pieces of rocks at Odysseus's ship, nearly obliterating them at the same time. But instead of retreating for safety, Odysseus keeps on provoking Polyphemus and “[calls] out to the cyclopes again, with [his] men hanging all over [him] begging him not to”(Book 9, 491-492). His feeling of pride and presumption influences to disregard the requests of his people even in these critical circumstances . He will fulfill his own feeling of interest and pleasure without thinking of the result it would have on his crew. Despite the fact that he is bound to get away from all passings and assaults, his group isn’t so blessed. Their lives are in mortal peril since Odysseus considers them as child sheeps who should forfeit their lives for him when the circumstances comes, much the same as how mortals make conciliatory offerings of sheeps for the heavenly gods. He is willing to fulfill his own feeling of interest without thinking of his groups lives or their suppositions and is regularly infuriated when they negate his request. If they hurt his sense of pride and self-importance and pomposity , Odysseus will be overcome with outrage and
This suggests that Odysseus is not a forgiving person and that he will punish anyone who is in the way of his wrath. His uncontrolled anger is a hazard to his life and those around him. Narcissism (hyperephania) is also characterized in the book, and it can allow a person to always have an expectancy for praise and adulation from others, and this can lead a person to think too highly of oneself, when truly one is not able to be compared to that esteem. In “The Cyclops” Odysseus had not told Polyphemus his name, but when he was sure of success, Odysseus proclaimed his name with pride, “...how you were put to shame and blinded, tell him Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye’ (503-504):” Odysseus once again cannot leave without the cyclops knowing who did this atrocity to him, so that when he gets home people will know his name and of the great things he did. This tells us that Odysseus is a man that needs other people to know his accomplishments and achievements for he himself to feel accomplished. This means that everything that Odysseus does, he will need to receive praise from others, for it to mean
In the “Odyssey”, Odysseus goes through obstacles throughout the book that a normal man couldn’t subside. One example is in book 9, his main obstacle that he is trying to face is to escape from being held hostage in a cave by a Cyclops better known as Polyphemus. Odysseus is a archetypal hero, he is also a role model, with an ambition to get to his homeland Ithaca. He goes through resisting temptation and using his intellect and physical strength to get him there, no matter the obstacle nor the negative flaws that he faces. Odysseus put himself and his men in that situation by being curious and wanting to know what kind of land his ship and the winds led him to. This was selfish of him because it cost him some of his men, but a leader and hero has to play that role and some lives will be dealt with on the way. Odysseus says, “The rest of you will stay here while I go with my ship and crew on reconnaissance. I want to find out what those men are like, Wild savages with no sense of right or wrong Or hospitable folk who fear the gods” (Homer 429). Saying this quote alone makes Odysseus a humble man due to the fact that not even a piece of land is going to slow him down on his journey back home.
Odysseus is the leader of his men and it is his job to return them home safely. They look up to Odysseus and follow him, whether they believe he has made the right or wrong decision. When Odysseus and his men are stuck with the cyclops it is Odysseus that comes up with the plan to save them. Odysseus is smart and is favored by Athena and as such, Athena helps him devise a plan. One time when Odysseus’ men do not seek his advice they make a mistake and it costs them on their journey. “While Odysseus is sleeping the men open the bag, thinking it contains gold and silver. The bad winds thus escape and blow the ships back to Aeolus’ island.” “Book Ten, Page 916.” The quote shows that the men need Odysseus there to help them and that without him Odysseus men make stupid decisions. Because the men opened the bag Aeolus did not help them again, he believed that their voyage was cursed.
Throughout Homer's The Odyssey, Odysseus the main character in the story is tested with the true meaning of hospitality. In the heroic age, hospitality was viewed as punishment or acceptance of a stranger. While Odysseus longed for his return to home, he faced the two different kinds of hospitality offered within the heroic age. My theory is that Odysseus was provided with good hospitality when he would enter a town that allowed him to eat at their table, bathed within their baths, and sleep within their homes. The townspeople and their king often provided superior hospitality for strangers without questioning them first. It's thought that maybe the wonderful hospitality was provided in return of viewing the stranger as a
The Journey He Takes… Depending on which roads and paths of choices a person takes can determine how their journey of life plays out for them. More importantly, it's the little things that can change a person's life for better or for worse. As Odysseus goes through his journey home, he comes across obstacles which cause further delays for him. Across the whole book, Odysseus is put to the test, from solving how to escape the Cyclops to making it past the Siren's without be tempted to making it through the underworld and back. Greek values are characteristics that each Greek has, from bravery to physical strength, to hospitality, whether it's one of these or another out of the list each Greek carries at least one.
The Greeks have been known for their hospitality and politeness, especially when treating guests- whether strangers or not. This is demonstrated near the beginning of the Odyssey when Telemachus went to Pylos to visit Nestor. Nestor, not knowing who he was taking into his home as guests, treated them with great honor and respect. "Now is the time," he said, "for a few questions, now that our young guests have enjoyed their dinner. Who are you, strangers? Where are you sailing from, and where to, down the highways of sea water (p 299)?" If ever Greeks were to serve themselves before their guests or even a little better than them, then they were breaking the most basic of all Greek customs,
Cultural value have changed a lot over time. The way we welcome guests and treat them in our homes is a good example of one of those changed values. In Homer’s famous book, The Odyssey, there is a common theme of hospitality and generosity to travelers passing through. These actions were common in the day due to the lack of transportation and beliefs at the time, but are not as common in our cultures today. Whilst it used to be a key value in a home, time has changed the way we welcome travelers.
When someone goes to one’s house, they are usually offered food and drinks. In Greece, treasured items such as gold and a place to stay was offered. This was a very important value to the Greeks. In the epic poem The Odyssey, Odysseus was offered something many times. Although most think of it as a benefit, the hospitality of the Greeks impacted the plot and changed the course of events of the story by it being shown, and by the lack of it.
Each culture treats strangers and guests with distinct differences from every other culture. One of the most hospitable cultures was that of the ancient Greeks, exemplified in Homer’s The Odyssey by both gracious hosts and guests. In Greece and The Odyssey, not only was good hospitality etiquette expected, but the added pressure from the conviction that the gods would punish the host if guests were treated without respect (whether they were poor or rich) further compelled excellent manners. The Odyssey illustrates the proper etiquette when dealing with guests.
The first time we are truly introduced to Odysseus and a situation with positive hospitality, is when he manages to make it to the island of the Phaeaceans. This is a group of people and society that was incredibly giving and generous to Odysseus. In order to assist in getting Odysseus home, the king of the Phaeaceans gave him the gift of wind. It was very powerful, and was to be kept in the bag at all times, under all circumstances. As the weary crew approached Ithaca, a few over zealous crew members opened the bag. The immediate swirling seas and rocky waves destroyed their ship, and sent them sprawling right back to the island of the Phaeaceans.