The Odyssey And Ancient Greek Culture Essay

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The Odyssey And Ancient Greek Culture Essay, Research Paper Homer composed the Odyssey in the 8th century BC. After the Trojan War, Greek kingdoms declined. Homer wrote The Iliad and The Odyssey when Greece had recovered from this war and Greek city-states were going into their eminent time. The actual stories take place earlier than Homer, during and after the Trojan War which occurred around 1200 BC. Homer wrote the Odyssey with many realistic descriptions of Ancient Greek culture. He also presented more extreme lifestyles in the way that characters acted. In the Odyssey, there is a hospitality code that represents the manner in which people should act towards strangers. Ideal treatment started when the host would bring a guest to a feast and only afterwards ask the guest

about himself. Hosts would always give valuable gifts and were always helpful to a guest. Telemachus was given this fine hospitality when he traveled to see Nestor and Menelaus. Nestor s son, Peisistratus, who was the first to reach them, took them both by the hand and gave them places at the banquet (p. 31) After they had eaten, Nestor, the Gerenian charioteer, said: Now that our visitors have eaten well, it is the right moment to put some questions to them and enquire who they are. (p. 32) Later, Menelaus said to Telemachus And now my friends, do stay in my palace. Stay for twelve days or so, and then I ll send you off in style. You shall have glorious gifts from me (p. 62) In this way, Homer shows the ideal lifestyle of the Greeks. Odysseus also received the same excellent

treatment from Aeolus and the Phaeacians that Telemachus did from Nestor and Menelaus. For a whole month Aeolus entertained me and questioned me (p. 142) The Phaeacians entertained Odysseus with ballads sung by a bard and with the Phaeacian Games. Telemachus shows hospitality to Athene in disguise in the beginning of the book. Even Eumaeus, the swineherd, shows hospitality to Odysseus disguised as a beggar when he offers sacrifices to the gods and gives Odysseus the best meat and a sleeping place. Homer also wrote about atrocious violations of the hospitality code. Odysseus was received very poorly when he sailed to the realms of the Laestrygonians and Cyclops, but the primary case of a violated hospitality code is caused by the Suitors. In Odysseus estate, the Suitors were

courting Penelope, Odysseus wife. They consumed the family s livestock, forced servants to wait on them, and behaved horribly. The Odyssey contains many people whose vocations are similar to those of average Ancient Greeks. In the Odyssey, there were maids and servants of kings. Odysseus maids include Eurycleia, Melantho. Odysseus herdsmen, Eumaeus, Melanthius and Philoetius, played significant roles in The Odyssey. These herdsmen s jobs were to tend to Odysseus animals. The blind Demodocus in Sherie and Phemius in Ithaca were minstrels. We also see beggars that go from house to house looking for food and shelter. Hephaesteus was the Mastercraftsman that represents craftsmen in ancient Greece. The Pheaecians were excellent with ships. They were most likely traders that used their

ships to transport goods to and from other places. Odysseus, Menelaus, and Nestor were wealthy landowners that all fought in the Trojan War. Warriors are honored and this position seems to be admired in The Odyssey. Greek religion and ideas play very important roles in The Odyssey because of the part gods, prophets, and omens take in The Odyssey. Zeus was angry with Odysseus because he didn t want him to win the Trojan War. Zeus originally prevents Odysseus from getting home. Later, when Odysseus blinds Poseidon s son Polyphemus, Poseidon is mad at Odysseus. Poseidon is the one who prevents Odysseus from getting home for such a long time. Hermes helps Odysseus at Circe s palace so that she doesn t turn him into an animal. When the sun god Hyperion s cattle are killed by Odysseus