Who Is Homer 's The Odyssey? Essay

1030 Words Nov 20th, 2014 5 Pages
You are going about the regular, mundane tasks of your everyday life at home, when a knock is heard from the front door. You open the door to find an exhausted, though well-dressed, middle-aged man, likely of some central-European descent. You stand before him, stunned silent, as he asks you if he might find something to eat, and a place to rest in your home. Should you call the police? Direct him to a neighbor’s house? Drive him to a nearby hotel? Allow him to use the bathroom and send him on his way? Or would you welcome him into your home, show him to your dining room, prepare a three course meal, introduce him to your family, and ready the spare-room, all before asking his story? —Who he is, where he is from, and why he has come to your home. If you lived around the Mediterranean Sea during the Bronze Age, as did Odysseus in Homer’s The Odyssey, you would have done the latter. When Telemachus came to the home of Menelaus, Menelaus spoke to Telemachus and his companion with generous words, “Welcome and fall to; in time, when you have supped, we hope to hear your names.” The seemingly over-the-top hospitality of the culture represented in The Odyssey served many functions for the people of that time and place, and therefore should not appear as such a surprise to modern Americans. It is through the motives driving their excessive hospitality that readers are able to realize three fundamental truths about human nature which we use to our benefit: When there is a…

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