The Odyssey: Hospitality The Odyssey by Homer

Essay by cordlessfonexingJunior High, 9th gradeA-, April 2004

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According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the meaning of hospitality is "cordial and generous reception of or disposition toward guests". In The Odyssey, hospitality greatly affects the whole book. In fact, because it is used so often, it is one of the six major themes in the epic tale. Every time a stranger would enter a person's home, then that person would take in the guest and treat that guest with courtesy. The person must supply that stranger (guest) with food, drink, and gifts to bear on the way home as a remembrance of that person. Hospitality is such a main factor in the epic tale that The Odyssey would collapse with the lack of use of it. Hospitality is used throughout the whole book, contributes to the fact of how Odysseus is so famous, and is treasured by the people that treat the strangers. Hospitality being in use throughout the whole book makes The Odyssey the way it is.

Throughout the whole book, hospitality is in use. It is common for showing hospitality to others by gift giving and sharing meals. For example, in Book VIII titled "Songs of the Harper" in The Odyssey, the Phaiakians gave Odysseus many generous gifts before Odysseus even revealed his identity. No matter how poor the host may be, hospitality is still used nevertheless. In Book XIV titled "Barron's/Pink Monkey: Hospitality in the Forest" in The Odyssey, Odysseus' swineherd, Eumaeus, is visited by Odyssey, although disguised as a beggar. Eumaeus, although not rich, still treats the 'beggar' very courteously and gives him the best of the swine for dinner. Wherever the travelers go, when they find some kind of refuge and there is a host, then the host will have to treat the traveler very well and supply the traveler with...