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The Bolt Of Justice Essay

971 words - 4 pages

It is clear that the justice system we are familiar with in current day differs greatly to the justice system used during The Odyssey. Justice is a concept based on morals, laws, ethics, rationality and fairness. Although not our version of justice the philosophy of an ‘eye for an eye’ coincides with that era’s style of justice. By the actions of the god Zeus and the hero Odysseus we learn that during this time the great gods and powerful rulers decided what was right and wrong then what punishment is suited for the infringement. The theme of justice throughout the epic poem, The Odyssey, written by Homer depicts vengeance and revenge as ultimately being just.
Odysseus’s massacre of the ...view middle of the document...

Penelope reminded the suitors that they have strayed from the honorable path wherein men bring in their own calves and lambs…they don’t devour the woman’s goods scot-free
When Odysseus returns home to discover the suitors negligent and dishonorable behavior he says to Eurymachus,” Not if you pay me all your father’s wealth…All you possess now, and all that could pour in from the world's end, no, no even then would I stay my hands from slaughter”(22.65-8). This quote in itself shows that no matter what, there is nothing that could deter Odysseus from seeking his justice. The real transgression they committed was showing no fear of the gods. Their demands surpassed the limits of hospitality handed down by Zeus.
Since the God’s played the principal role in justice throughout this era it only makes sense to involve the mighty God Zeus. As a traveler you have the ‘right’ to hospitality, since they are a traveler they lack the protection from a king or their community. So this happens to fall into Zeus’s jurisdiction. So as their protector, Zeus keeps the travelers safe and grants them proper hospitality as well as distributes punishments for having a lack of respect of the gift of hospitality. Not only did these suitors impose on Odysseus they also disrespected a god. When you disrespect a God and Odysseus whom is in favor of the God’s, you had better believe that the punishment would be swift and brutal. Justice for their indiscretions would be their massacre.
With the supreme God and a heroic mortal disrespected and abused, the massacre was started with a bolt of Zeus’s lighting. This bolt sent down by Zeus indicated his approval for the demise of those who dared disrespected him. Just as the slaughter began with a bolt...

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