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This Is A Very Well Written Paper On The Greek Theme Of Loyalty.

1214 words - 5 pages

The Theme of LoyaltyAs Portrayed in Greek LiteratureThroughout the ages, Greek literature has both entertained and guided audiences through the themes displayed within each work. There are five dominate themes among most literary works of the time that include: hospitality, courage, opposition to tyranny, loyalty, and love. The Greek tragedy Antigone, along with the epic The Odyssey, all focus around the center of the ever-present theme of loyalty. Loyalty serves as a value, which helps to guide characters along the right path, while the characters that lack this trait find themselves in the midst of a world of deceit and dishonor.The Odyssey, by Homer, is a Greek epic that is a long, episodic narrative in medias res, which shows the characteristics of the people and a hero who encompasses all the virtues that the people strive to achieve. Odysseus is the ideal king of Ithaca who embodies physical strength, courage, travel, perseverance, cleverness, and loyalty. Loyalty is not only exemplified through Odysseus, but through his wife Penelope, and son Telemakhos as well.Odysseus has been on a journey for about twenty years, which has kept him away from his family and Ithaca. He has prevailed through many hardships and tests along the way. His hope and determination to return home are kept alive through his love and loyalty to his family. Upon one of his voyages, the seductress Kalypso, who is of exquisite beauty and charm, tempted Odysseus. He abstains from any romantic interactions with her through his longing for home and his wife. "My lady goddess, here is no cause for anger. My quiet Penelope-how well I know-would seem a shade before your majesty, death and old age being unknown to you, while she must die. Yet, it is true, each day I long for home, long for the sight of home. If any god has marked me out again for shipwreck, my tough heart can undergo it. What hardship have I not long since endured at sea, in battle! Let the trial come" (283).Odysseus' son Telemakhos has grown to become a man in the image and likeness of his father. While his father was away, Telemakhos was raised by his mother Penelope, who bestowed upon him the characteristics and virtues that Odysseus possessed. He had grown up with his house being overrun by suitors looking to wed the queen Penelope. Telemakhos had always been too young to take any action against the suitors, but now that he's grown, he is overcome with an idea of revenge and looks to rid the suitors once and for all. He sets out on a journey to find his father and returns with him to Ithaca. Odysseus constructs a plan and has Telemakhos, led by his sense of loyalty, as his right-hand-man. "Quick upon his father's word Telemakhos ran to the room where the spears and armor lay? he was the first to put a helmet on and slide his bare arm in a buckler strap. The servants armed themselves, and all took their stand beside the master of battle" (497).Penelope also displays the virtue of loyalty throughout the...

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