Hospitality towards guests for Greeks

Essay by jackiefJunior High, 7th grade February 2007

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Hospitality toward the guests was very important to the ancient Greeks. The suitors were an example of poor hospitality. No matter how rude someone got and how unwelcome they were in someone got in their house, the person who lived in the house still treated the people with respect and never let them feel like they were unwelcome.

One example of hospitality was the situation with the suitors. The suitors were a bunch of men who wanted Penelope to choose one of them to marry. They believed that Penelope's real husband, Odysseus, whom she was still married to, had died in the war he had gone to twenty years ago. A lot of the men gathered together and came into Penelope's house. Even though Penelope did not want them in the house, Penelope and her maids treated like any of their other guests. The maids gave them a very lavished meal and wine to go with it.

The men had over stayed their welcome and were forcing Penelope to chose a husband right then and there. Even after that was said, Penelope as well as her maids didn't treat the suitors any differently. That showed how hospitality was really important to the Greeks.

Throughout the entire epic, the suitors kept on coming back and Penelope kept on rejecting them.

"O god of yesterday, on the hazy sea for news of my lost father, listen to me, be near me: the Achaeans only wait, or hope to hinder me, the damned insolent suitors most of all." (125-139)

Telemachus was Penelope and Odysseus' son. Penelope gave birth to Telemachus right before Odysseus left for the war. He was now 20, and had never seen his father.

Another example of how important hospitality was to the Greeks was when Odysseus and his men landed on the island of Aeolia. There the wind king, Aeolus did Odysseus a favor, he put all the stormy winds in a bags of that they would not harm the Ithacans. After his curious men open the bag and some more of them are killed, next they land on an island called Aeaea, the home of the witch Circe. "In the wild wood they found and open glade, around a smooth stone house-the hall Circe-and wolves and mountain lions lay there mild in her soft spell, fed on her drug of evil. She seated them on thrones and lounging chairs while she prepared a meal of cheese and barley and amber honey mixed with Pramnian wine. Although Circe was a witch and was evil, she had a little bit of warmth in her heart and fed Odysseus' hungry men.

Overall, Greeks really did think that hospitality was important. So everyone in Greece treated each other very nicely and it seemed as if they would be there for each other if one was in need.