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Living After Death Essay

689 words - 3 pages

Though thousands of years old, the Odyssey is a long enduring classic studied by scholars all over the world due to its timeless qualities and universal messages. The book clearly paints a picture of the values and attitudes of Greek culture. The epic follows the journey of a man as he travels home, and on a deeper layer, a man on a journey to find himself. As an ideal greek hero, Odysseus displays many of the traits and values that were considered admirable back in Homer’s time. In Ancient Greece, the main goal of ones life was to achieve fame and glory that lasted after death as a result making the person immortal. To achieve honor and fame after death one must, like Odysseus, be quick witted, know how to be a good guest and host, and finally be loyal towards family and friends.
In ancient Greece having quick wit and wisdom was a trait that was helped the Greeks achieve their idea of a perfect society. Throughout his journey Odysseus finds himself in many dangerous predicaments yet he always manages to think of a clever way to escape. Odysseus’ quick wit comes of use to him when he and his men are trapped inside the cyclops Polyphemus’ cave. Odysseus brilliantly thinks of telling the Cyclops that his name is Nobody so that Polyphemus would not be able to call for help. Also, when Odysseus travels near the Sirens he requests that he is tied “hand and foot in the swift-ship, erect at mast block” (273. 56-57). He does this so that he can gain wisdom from listening to the sirens.
Also important to the ancient Greeks was Xenia, or hospitality as it helped add to one’s personal honor. Hospitality was more than taking in a guest out of the goodness of one’s heart. Welcoming in guests and ensuring that they had a good stay and were well taken care of was how ancient Greeks spread their name and honor. At the end of a guests stay the Greeks would give gifts out generously so that...

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