Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Downloaded 53 times

Greek Society Much about the way of life of the ancient Greeks and the role of the individual, wealth, family, social class, and government can be found in Homer?s The Odyssey, translation by Richmond Lattimore. The epic portrays an orderly society with clear values for the individual, family, and social classes to work together. The society valued individual traits of strength, courage, and compassion, family fidelity, and an orderly government with clear roles of the different social classes. Wealth and power were clearly desirable, but there was room and acceptance for all the roles in society.

Individual traits were important to the society?s acceptance of a person. It was important to have strength, compassion, courage, intelligence, and ingenuity. Odysseus demonstrates these traits throughout his journey and in the events that take place when he arrives back home. Physical traits were also important to help Odysseus gain reacceptance after not being a part of society for a long time.

For example, Athena helped Odysseus become a strong, desirable man both at the island of Scheria and in his homeland of Ithaca. Odysseus?s intelligence and cleverness are significant traits, which helped him to regain his power and position. ??You have the best mind among men for craft, and there is no other man among mortal men who can contend with you. We shall follow you eagerly??(book 23 lines: 25-28) This is important because it shows the traits early Greek society valued.

Family is very important because it plays a key part in determining the individual?s wealth and status in Greek society. In The Odyssey, family status is imperative because the suitors are trying to gain power by marrying Penelope, the hereditary queen. The timing of Odysseus?s return was critical to maintain both the power of the family and his...