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The Importance Of Hospitality Essay

664 words - 3 pages

In The Odyssey, Homer uses fear of the gods to portray the idea of Xenia, which means hospitality to all, to live a normal and happy life. On multiple occasions people ignore this idea and in result get a streak of bad luck. For example, the suitors that stay in Odysseus' house are terrible guests. They get brutally murdered by Odysseus. Polyphemus eats several of Odysseus' crew mates. Polyphemus gets blinded by Odysseus. Aegisthus does certain unstated acts with Agamemnon's wife, then kills Agamemnon. Agamemnon's son, Orestes, kills Aegisthus. Xenia is very important to the day-to-day life of the characters in The Odyssey.
The main failure to be a hospitable guest in The Odyssey is that the suitors who believe Odysseus is dead and are waiting to marry his wife, Penelope. The suitors simply cannot stop being terrible guests, spending O's money and “feasting themselves sick, swilling our glowing wine” (2.61). The suitors are terrible guests, and have no care whatsoever as to the fact that they are being extremely rude to the gods by being bad guests, and being rude to Odysseus, destroying his house and spending his money. Since the suitors are being such terrible guests, there has to be a consequence. Once Odysseus returns from his travels and becomes re-acquainted with his son Telemachus, they decide that it is time to put an end to the reign of the suitors. Odysseus is shooting arrows through the holes of axes when he “aimed and shot Antinuous square in the throat” (22.15). Thus begins the bloodbath in which Telemachus, and Odysseus kill every single suitor sans two of which Telemachus said were innocent, and every turncoat maid. Xenia not only applies to being a hospitable host, but a hospitable guest as well. In extreme cases such as the suitors ravaging Odysseus' palace, lives will be ended.
Poseidon's son, Polyphemus, is a terrible host, similar to how...

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