Hospitality, Religion, And Loyalty In Homer's Odyssey

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Literature is a form of cultural embodiment that is able to capture the intricacies of a society’s ideals, values, and beliefs. Although a rather complex culture, several literary texts are able to highlight the complexities within the Greek culture by analyzing certain literary elements. The Odyssey by Homer is one such text that emerges out of Greek culture and is able to illustrate the cultural concerns of the time. By examining the key roles of hospitality, religion, and loyalty, one is able to perceive how Greek cultural values are defined through the Odyssey. In ancient Greek society hospitality was highly valued. It was sacred to the god Zeus, who was a patron of traveling. In addition, it served critical functions within ancient Greece…show more content…
It was exceedingly practiced within society and it extended far beyond mainland Greece. In their polytheistic religion, the ancient Greeks believed that the Olympian Gods ultimately decided their future. They believed that these gods had the power to change human fate, which resulted in individuals wanting to be favored by the gods. However, the gods favored and hated certain individuals more than others. For example, Telemachus is highly favored by the goddess Athena. She is able to help guide Telemachus in the journey for answers about his father’s wellbeing by giving him strong speech and courage. On the other hand, Odysseus is hated by the god Poseidon for blinding his Cyclop son which results in Odysseus being lost at sea for several years. Sacrifice and prayer were the means in which the Greeks believe they could influence the gods to enact their divine power to serve them in their favor. There is an abundance of examples of prayer and sacrifice throughout the Odyssey. When Telemachus arrives in Pylos there is a religious ceremony where dozens of bulls are being sacrificed to the god Poseidon, Penelope is seen praying to the gods that her son, Telemachus, be protected, and Odysseus gives a prayer to Athena to allow him to receive good hospitality from the Phaeacians. These scenes of sacrifice and prayer signify the embracing of Greek religion in the Odyssey. It demonstrates how literature is

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