Odysseus 'Hospitality On Polyphemus' Island

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Odysseus and Hospitality on Polyphemus’ Island Odysseus, for all his heroism, is not a perfect man; his decisions on Polyphemus’ island offend hospitality traditions laid out in Odyssey. Based on the host-guest relations throughout Odyssey, it is reasonable to conclude that these customs are serious issues. When analyzing Odysseus and Polyphemus’ interaction it is easy to accuse Polyphemus of ignoring these beliefs. It is Odysseus, however, whose decisions disrespect not only Polyphemus, but hospitality in Odyssey as well. Before traveling to the Cyclopes’ island Odysseus states; 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. (9.69-71) Odysseus also recalls a similar motivation for waiting at Polyphemus’ home; “…I wanted to see [Polyphemus] and see / If he would give me a gift of hospitality” (9.219-220). These quotes reveal that Odysseus expects Polyphemus to treat him and his men as guests. Odysseus is not sure that the Cyclopes will act honorably, but his…show more content…
Zeus is not upset however by the measures that Odysseus takes to escape Polyphemus. Polyphemus himself states that “…Cyclopes / Don’t care about Zeus or his aegis” (9.266-267) and points out that, “‘[Poseidon] will heal me if he wants. But none / Of the other gods will and no mortal man will.’” (9.518-519) Obviously, Polyphemus has no respect for the gods or their power, and Zeus, seems indifferent to the Cyclopes and their problems. Zeus rejection of the sacrifice, therefore stems from the fact that Odysseus ignored his responsibilities as a guest, and not from anger over his nephew’s injury. Because hospitality throughout Odyssey often extends to godly guests, it is safe to assume that Zeus cares about these customs. Odysseus’ casual disregard of hospitality is guaranteed to offend Zeus, and therefore bring about his

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