The Role Of Loyalty In The Odyssey

1112 words - 4 pages

Intro: There are a wide variety of themes present throughout the Odyssey, written by Homer. Be it hospitality, perseverance, vengeance or power of the Gods, loyalty is truly the theme that brings the whole book together. Being 10 years after the Trojan War, many have forgotten about Odysseus and his men as they constantly brave what the gods throw their way. This essay will be talking about Odysseus and Penelope’s mutual loyalty to one another, the loyal relationships between Gods and men and finally, the loyalty Odysseus’ men show for him until death. This essay with prove to us that without loyalty, Odysseus’ legendary journey would have been put to an end near where they started. The general theme of loyalty is what kept Odysseus motivated and determined.
Odysseus and Penelope have a strong love towards one-another. Odysseus would not give up on fighting for eventually getting back to both Penelope and Ithaca. They are a married couple which is what makes them so much more attached and loyal to each other. Penelope has had many opportunities to re-marry after her husband left for 20 years. Odysseus also let down the opportunity on living an immortal life with a beautiful woman in order to make it back to his true love. An example of Penelope’s loyalty to Odysseus is that she rejects the many suitors that approach her for marriage because she believes that Odysseus is still alive somewhere and she remains loyal to their marriage. Before Odysseus left for the Trojan War, he told Penelope that if he did not return by the time their son, Telemachus, could grow a full beard, she must remarry at her own will. Penelope remains loyal to her marriage with Odysseus, even though Telemachus had grown a beard. QUOTE!! Odysseus’s’ loyalty to Penelope is demonstrated through the experience of landing on Circe’s island. Circe falls in love with him and turned his entire crew into swine, monkeys and other animals through her witchcraft of which she used by getting them to drink a potion. She tries to do the same to him, but he previously took an antidote that was handed to him by Hermes. Circe black mails Odysseus into not turning his men back unless he makes love to her. He with the witch for a ‘year’ on the island of Ogygia and finally decides that he needs to be with his true love so he leaves her. QUOTE!!(Book 11) On the return of the legendary Odysseus, Penelope really does not believe what she sees and claims the figure standing in front of her is actually not the man of her life. QUOTE!!(Book 23)
Gods played a great role back in ancient civilizations and still do so to a certain extent, just not as intensely. Today, we have many different gods and religions, but for the most part, they are not nearly as serious as they were back in the days of Odysseus. Gods were believed by all to run the whole show and could end lives if they chose. Whatever humans did had to reflect on what the Gods would think of it since it was they who controlled the thin...

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