The Portrayal Of Death In Homer's Odyssey

1549 Words7 Pages
Throughout history, the way that death has been portrayed shows us how people ought to live, and that blood alone has turned the wheels of history. The way that each society portrays death steps us into their world in a kind of twisted way. In modern times we often find death to be a horrible thing to not be taken lightly and never to be joked about. The society described by Homer has a very different outlook on life and death. This tells quite a bit about their way of life, and how they ought to live. The Odyssey does not joke about death, but treats it a lot more naturally. That portrayal deeply influenced the way that people ought to live in the Odyssey. The people of ancient Greece were aspiring to be heros, much like Odysseus…show more content…
Furthermore, everyone appeared to be completely fine with all of the death and murder. Even Pallas Athena, went on and on dreaming about how he would come up with his shield and spear to save the day, and slay the suitors. Telling poor Penelope every gory detail. Granted the suitors were incredibly rude, but whenever a normal person from modern day society gets a bad guest, they do not just on the spot try to kill them. The crazy and twisted portrayal of death in the Odyssey shows how risky and full that their lives must have been, and how their culture acted. In ancient Greece if you wanted to kill someone, don't try and coop up your emotions, you could just spew out all of your emotion in a flurry of beautifully executed sword swipes and spear jabs. This kind of lifestyle is not only supported by the portrayal of death, but also the desire to be a great hero. It seems like many of the things that you deal with in ancient greece society, have to do with being a great individual, such as xenia, or kleos. I imagine that the reason that all the lowly warriors that met their demise at the end of Odysseus’s spear were shooting for his kleos. It would be crazy to be a kind of instant hero. Which is why in greek society people lived in such peril, because they wanted to get on the train immediately and kill Achilles and Hector.…show more content…
The thing that makes this so special though is that he was just a stranger, he was just seeking fame and fortune. Looking to be rich and famous, carrying his amassed loot and kleos around for the whole world to see. He was feeding off of his thirst for fame and fortune, that made death all too common in the Odyssey. Homer lets us see that the murdered man’s brother is actually a little bit sad for the disappearance of his brother, but he still thinks that it is normal enough to talk about easily. He took that risky lifestyle and he won and lost the lottery, he had fortune, but he lost his brother. All because one guy was just trying to make his way up the ladder. Unfortunately people had to die for the fame of others. This brother was just living the same lifestyle as all the other Greeks. But he got bit in the butt. Ultimately it was because his lifestyle was a full, risky, and fame-seeking one. Which is exactly how the people were supposed to live, activity like that would not be acceptable today, but our lifestyle would not be acceptable back then either. All of this you can tell just by how people die. Overall their death is the result of a fame seeking lifestyle, set on by the hunger heroism and the bravery of the average greek man. Their lifestyle was a much fuller, and heroic one, than any of us will ever

More about The Portrayal Of Death In Homer's Odyssey

Open Document