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Odyssey, a look

There are many traditions and values that the people of Ancient Greece followed very closely. These acts, such as, hospitality and respect for one’s peers are usually overlooked by gods and goddesses. The people are expected follow these traditions or they may feel wrath from a god or goddess.

In the Odyssey, the tradition of hospitality is shown being broke in several ways. When a person in Ancient Greece received a guest, they were to treat them with the highest respect and they should offer them gifts. The host was expected to give the guest a place to bathe, something to eat, and if they were of importance they should make a sacrifice.

This tradition was not followed by the Cyclops Polyphemus and the suitors in Ithaca. When Odysseus and his men arrived in the cave of Polyphemus, they were hardly treated with proper hospitality. Not only did Polyphemus eat some of Odysseus’ men, but he also blocked the only entrance to the cave with a giant boulder. Odysseus was offended by the treatment and warned the Cyclops that Zeus will punish him. Polyphemus ignored the warning and was eventually outsmarted by Odysseus for his escape.

Guests are expected to not take advantage of hospitality given out by the host. The suitors in Ithaca took tremendous advantage of Penelope and others in Odysseus’ absence. The suitors lived there for many years eating the food and drinking the wine owned by Odysseus. They wore their welcome very much and were eventually punished by Odysseus and Telemachus upon Odysseus’ return.

The Odyssey showed a couple instances that someone disrespects another peer. Two good examples are Agamemnon and Achilles, and Paris and Hector. In the Iliad Achilles tells Agamemnon that he is a bloated drunk that is only out for the treasure and rewards that come with the war. Hector tells Paris he is “pretty boy” who would rather mingle with women, than fight for his land in the war. These are two examples of how Peer disrespect is shown in the Iliad.

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