Hospitality in Homer’s story The Odyssey is a dominant theme in the epic poem. Throughout the poem, we are given many situations in which hospitality plays a key role in events that transpire and unravels during Odysseus heroic twenty year journey home. This major theme is especially significant because it serves to form the moral and ethical makeup of the characters existence in this poem. The Odyssey, a classic piece of Greek literature, relates to the use of hospitality in many ways; exactly how Odysseus obeys and disobeys the common law of hospitality in his travels, without hospitality, Odysseus's journey home would have been nearly impossible.
This traditional theme, apparent in Greek mythology and custom, aids many purposes as the epic story unravels. When examining these scenes, we have learned about Greek customs, character differences, and the role of the gods in determining how future events will be played out. When comparing and contrasting different occurrences of hospitality throughout The Odyssey, the importance of this dominant theme will be more recognized. It is essential to comprehend that hospitality in The Odyssey is much different than our modern day meaning. In the ancient Greek view, hospitality meant offering all you had to feed and house a stranger or visitor. The hosts believed that it is wrong to send and stranger packing and “every stranger and beggar comes from the god Zeus.” We see examples of their extreme form of hospitality throughout The Odyssey. For instance, Telemachus shows his hospitality by inviting the guest in as soon as he sees, refraining from asking his name and business, and immediately taking him inside and feeding him at his table. “Greetings, stranger! Here in our house you’ll find a royal welcome. Have supper first, then tell us what you need.” This citation illustrates the common courtesy and warm welcoming the Greeks have with strangers. (14....