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Influence of Greek Culture

Back in the days of Homers Writings, Greek culture had a huge influence on the way of life and the style of writing. In this epic Greek culture also played a huge roll in the outcome of the story. The three traits of Greek culture that are evident in this story are, marriage is permanent, gods are revered and intelligence is valued. The first one of these traits that stands out in this epic is marriage is permanent. Penelope is faced with many suitors who wish to marry her and rule Ithica, yet she remained loyal and had faith that her husband, Odysseus would return to her side.

In one instance, the suitors pressured her into choosing one of them to marry. To trick the men she said Young men, my suitors, now my lord is dead, let me finish my weaving before I marry. (p. 726, l. 100-101). Then every night she would undo her progress of the day. Odysseus too, had been desired by others and he too avoided them. Circe and Calypso both wanted to be with Odysseus, but he knew he had sworn to love Penelope. Telemachus also played a part in keeping his parents marriage together. He set out to find his father despise what others had told him. The olive tree bed was also a symbol of the couples permanent marriage.

The next trait that played a role in Greek culture was that gods are revered. Gods played a very significant role in the Greeks way of life. Gods controlled everything from the sky to the underworld. Gods could either be your best friend, or your worst enemy. Odysseus learned that the hard way. After blinding Polyphemus he boasted his name to the beast whose father was the sea god Poseidon. Cyclops, if ever mortal man inquire how you were put to shame and blinded, tell him Odysseus, raider of the cities took your eye: Laertes son whose homes on Ithica! (p. 756 l. 970-974). From that point on he would be punisher by the great sea god.

A god also played an important role in Telemachus journey. Athena gave the young mortal much help and advice. The last trait that played an important role in Greek culture is that intelligence is valued. Odysseus, Telemachus and Penelope all showed great intelligence in the epic. Odysseus main strength was his intelligence. He had tricked the Cyclops many times and saved himself and his crews lives many times. Penelope had deceived the suitors enough to give Odysseus time to return. When Odysseus finally did return he was wise enough to disguise himself so only few people could recognize him.

The people who did recognize him such as his old nurse, helped to aid him execute the suitors who pursued Penelope. You are Odysseus! Ah, dear child! I could not see you until nownot till I knew my masters very body with my hands! (p 780 l. 1630-1632). Telemachus was also clever not to reveal his search for his father, because he too, may have been killed by the suitors. The influence of Greek culture made this epic the great story that it is. Almost everything in this story had something to do with the Greeks or the Greek culture. The events in this story fit together like a puzzle. That is why this story is so unique.

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