Which Excerpt From The Odyssey Demonstrates The Importance Of Hospitality In Greek Society?

Updated 13 August, 2023
Hospitality was one of the most important values in ancient Greece. The Odyssey shows many examples of people being very hospitable to others. For example, Telemachus demonstates this, when Mendes comes up to his castle, by saying, “Greetings, stranger!/Here in our house, you’ll find a royal welcome. Have supper first, then tell us what you need”.
Detailed answer:

At the begging of the book, Telemachus son of Odysseus exemplifies this very well when Mendes comes up to his castle. He says, “Greetings, stranger!/ Here in our house, you’ll find a royal welcome./ Have supper first, then tell us what you need”. Mentes is a complete stranger to Telemachus and this quote demonstrates how even despite that he still gave her a great welcoming and invited her to eat. It also demonstrates how in those times you would welcome people no matter who they are because back then it would take days, weeks, or even months to go from one place to another. Since Telemachus was such a good host and showed hospitality to a complete stranger he got rewarded by seeing his dad.
Telemachus has not seen his dad in 20 years and when he sees his dad he breaks down in tears and they are both ecstatic. This is what Telemachus does when he sees his dad, “The swineherd started up,/ amazed, he dropped the bowls with a clatter — he’d been busy/ mixing ruddy wine. Straight to the prince he rushed/ and kissed his face and kissed his shining eyes,/ both hands, as the tears rolled down his cheeks./ As a father, brimming with love, welcomes home/ his darling only son in a warm embrace”. Rewards do not get better than a son seeing his father for the first time in 20 years. For Telemachus, this was a dream that he had wanted for so long and it finally came true. This quote shows how much he missed his father and how much seeing his father meant to him.
The Odyssey shows how being nice and welcoming to others pays off in the long run and how being kind can change your life.

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