What scenes in The Odyssey show that family and hospitality are important to Odysseus?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the many interesting aspects of Odysseus and his character is the way that he, like other Homeric heroes, craves glory and kudos, but at the same time ultimately he wishes to return home to his beloved wife and son. This is his abiding focus throughout all of his wanderings, and even when he has the opportunity to enjoy a life that is luxurious in the extreme, or when he has the possibility of gaining the gift of immortality, he forsakes these times to be able to return home to his wife. A classic example would be when he is with Calypso enjoying an incredibly exotic lifestyle. Even though he admits that his wife is not in the same league as Calypso, eventually he wants to leave this paradise to return to her. We see this again as his thoughts whilst he is on Circe's island and with the Phaeacians are dominated by home and his wife, the beloved Penelope.

Thus, although Odysseus is a character like any other male heroic figure in Homer's writings in the way that he desires to gain glory through his exploits, there seems to be a more important driving force behind his actions throughout the story, as shown by the way that he constantly strives and yearns to return home, no matter what incentives he is given to stay.


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