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Aidan Jeffers

Miss Skirtich
13 April 2018
English 10: World Literature

Odyssey Thesis Paper

Hospitality, bravery, and intelligence, all very respected and honored values in the Greek

culture. These things characteristics were expected of you if you live in that culture. These are

just some of the values that Greek heroes live by. Such as the great godlike Odysseus, who has

all the values of a true Greek hero. He displays these characteristics in the epic my Homer The

Odyssey. Homer embodies the Greek values of hospitality, bravery, and intelligence throughout

the Odyssey.

Homer embodies the Greek values of hospitality, throughout the Odyssey. Such as when

Odysseus goes to the land of the Phaeacians and gets sent back home by Alcinous on one of their

ships, with food and many gifts. Alcinous show his hospitality in this quote, “Pontonous, mix a

bowl of wine and serve cups to all, that we may pray to the Lord Zeus and send our guest to his

own native land.” (Homer 130) This shows the hospitality of Alcinous and the Phaeacians

because they took the Odysseus, a stinger and gave him food, gifts, and passage home. This was

a huge part of the greek culture back then and is still valued in some cultures throughout the

world. Another example of Homer showing hospitality through characters in the Odyssey is

when the swine herd shows hospitality to Odysseus even though he is discoed as an old beggar,

“Meanwhile, in the hut, Odysseus and the noble swine herd had kindled a fire and were making
breakfast in the early light.” ( Homer 140) This is showing hospitality because the swine herd is

making food and giving shelter to Odysseus even though he does not know that it is the beggar is

actually Odysseus. He is giving what little he has to this stranger that he has never met before

without a second thought. Most people nowadays will not even want to look at someone in need

let alone give them their own possessions. However back in that time period hospitality was a

huge part of their culture and so was another characteristic, bravery.

Additionally, Homer embodies the Greek values of bravery, throughout the Odyssey. One

specific example is when Odysseus tells his men that they are going to the land of hades, or the

underworld, “You think no doubt, that you are going home, but Circe has plotted another course

for us, to the house of Hades and dread Persephone, to consult the ghost of Theban

Tiresias.”(Homer 94) This very much troubles his crew, because almost no one goes to the land

of the dead and lives to tell the tale. Odysseus however knows this has to be done in order to

achieve his goal and return home to Ithaca. This shows his bravery to literally look death in the

face and live. Another instance that Homer shows bravery through Characters in the Odyssey

happened when Circe was telling Odysseus that he had to go though the sirens and she told

Odysseus to listen to their song, “First she told us to avoid the eerie voices of the sirens and sail

past their soft meadows. She ordered mm alone to listen.”(Homer 119) This shows bravery on

Odysseus’s part because it is very dangerous for men to hear the song of the siren, this is why he

put wax in his men’s ears and had them tie him to the mast so he could hear their song but not be

able to go with them. He told his men that if he says to untie him, tie him up tighter to be sure

that he can not escape and perish to the sirens as so many before him have.

Furthermore, Homer embodies the Greek values of intelligence, throughout the Odyssey.

Intelligence was and still is a much valued characteristic in people. Odysseus shows intelligence
many times throughout the Odyssey but one instance where he shows his wits to get out of a

deadly situation is when he is in the cave of Polyphemus and the cyclops asks Odysseus what his

name was, “You ask me my name, my glorious name, and I will tell it to you. Remember now, to

give me the gift just as you promised. Noman is my name. They call me Noman- My mother, my

father and all my friends too.”(Homer 72) This shows how smart Odysseus is, because later in

the text he blinds the cyclops and when the Polyphemus is crying in pain and the other cyclops

are asking who did this to you he say Noman did this to me. This makes him look very idiotic to

say that no man did this. This was very smart of Odysseus to make this up. One other time when

Odysseus uses his intelligence to not blow his cover is when he is about to fight the other beggar

Irus, “Should he knock the man stone cold dead or ease up on the punch and just lay him out

flat.”(Homer 164) Odysseus made the right decision to not kill the man but just injure him,

because if he had killed him he might have blown his cover and people would have realized who

he was. No ordinary person can kill a man with a punch, no they would know this was the work

of godlike Odysseus.

In conclusion, Homer embodies the Greek values of hospitality, bravery, and intelligence

throughout the Odyssey. These are values all Greeks of the time lived by, so to see the hero’s

and Gods of myth live them and respect people that lived by them was inspiring to most people

of the time. This may have made them want to live more like the hero’s in their stories. Living

by these values would be good for anyone, of any culture, So we should all try to embody the

values of a true Greek Hero.