Marriage As Viewed By Greeks, Christians And Hebrews

1252 words - 5 pages

According to the Bible, love and marriage were treated with respect because they were divine before the eyes of God. He gave clear instructions to man and woman telling them to marry and bring forth children to fill His world. In essence therefore, man has to respect this institution called marriage and the associated strong emotions or love.
Homer’s poem portrays a different version of the same where man is free to cohabit with another woman while they are not married. In the poem we see Penelope living in the same quarters with as many as a hundred suitors and no law is present to avoid the sexual irresponsibility resulting from this. Some of Odysseus’s maid servants end up sleeping with the suitors.
The period before one marries is sacred according to the Bible where the husband-to-be respects the special bond with his lover. Joseph and Mary exemplify this putting into consideration his reaction to Mary’s pregnancy. He was confused because of her seemingly inconsiderate actions.
Homer’s odyssey however, portrays the picture differently where Penelope is seen to live with all her suitors in the same house they decide to sleep with the maid servants. It seems that Greek culture held little regard for the sanctity of marriage and love. The fact that some of the suitors decide to disrespect her feelings and, sleep with the house maids is a manifestation of this.
The odyssey again tries to illustrate how vain Greeks were in issues pertaining to love. Penelope has more than one hundred suitors trying to woo her while she is not the only girl available. The fact that she is beautiful is not enough to justify her attracting all those men while there is evidence of there being other ladies available.
The holy Bible’s explanation of those feelings of love and the subsequent decision to marry is one where there is one man and one lady, both in love. These later become man and wife and are allowed to start a family. That relationship and a mutual decision to marry are the main characteristics of love according to the Bible.
Homer gives a different meaning to love in his poem when more than a hundred men converge in one home and confess their undying love to a lady but sleep with the house helps. Seemingly, the Greeks were more liberal in these matters because even after it has happened, no one points at it as a sin.
Biblical law condemns adultery and fornication as unforgiveable sins where those caught in the act had to die. A popular case which exemplifies this is that which Jesus used to teach his disciples the importance of love and forgiveness. The Jewish and Hebrew laws also punish anyone caught in adultery using capital punishment.
The odyssey however exhibits a different treatment of those who fornicate or adulterate. Some of the suitors wooing Penelope decide to take advantage of Odysseus‘s absence and sleep with his servants. Nothing is done about it till he comes back to his...

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