Greek Ideals are Universal Ideals.

Essay by glengem May 2003

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The three main ideals of Greek Myth include Arete, Hospitality, and Hardwork. All these characteristics separately are noble for a person to attain but having all of them makes one somewhat Godlike. Because Gods living beyond the rules of mankind do not live by these ideals that they set forth for mankind to uphold. The eternal ideals become eternal truths which the characters of the story Odyssey realize at the end of their life and at the end of their story.

Arete encompasses the characteristics of strength, deceptiveness, and intelligence. Arete therefore makes mankind strive for excellence. In the Odyssey, Odysseus displays deceptiveness when he created the Trojan Horse and strategized the Trojan defeat by use of the horse. Odysseus showed his strength of patience when he tolerated the abuse of the suitors while disguised as the beggar in Penelope's house. Odysseus intelligence was shown when he disclosed his identity to Polymephus as "nobody" to hide keep Polymephus from realizing that Odysseus was the fulfillment of the prophecy which had a giant named Odysseus blind him.

This giant being referred describes his intelligence, because as a strategist he is the most famous of all Achaen warriors when referring to the Trojan Horse success. As a man Odysseus displayed all the characteristics of Arete which made him great and even arrogant in the sight of the Gods, thus his fate is being humbled at the end of the Odyssey.

Hospitality is a universal ideal that travels beyond class structure to display the goodness of the person who displays it. The positive form of the Hospitality was shown by Penelope when she let the suitors stay in her house especially the beggar who she didn't realize was Odysseus, her long lost husband. Her hospitable treatment of this beggar in...