When the theme of hospitality is talked about in Odyssey, it shows different sides of the people that are visiting them. The strangers that arrive might be either harmless or at the same time very dangerous. Due to the unknown nature of the strangers then the native people should stay prepared for trouble from these strangers. They must also treat them appropriately as they might also be bringing the native people good news on things that they have been seeking. Hospitality in Odyssey is, therefore, magnificent at the same time being very cautious to strangers who visit.
Most strangers in the Odyssey are wayfarers with the desperate need of help or passing a message to the people of the native land. Odyssey, for instance, visits many people as he sails with the desperate need of help to get back home. Not in all the places he goes to is met with the kind of hospitality he needs. He is at times treated brutally and eve held captive by the people of the native lands. Therefore, hospitality in all the regions in the book is enhanced by the morals that the people have and their views towards strangers. If they view strangers as harmless they welcome them properly but turn hostile if they believe that the strangers are dangerous. Some of the people know Odyssey and therefore they receive him warmly without any problems. In the novel, it just depends on the native people and their take on strangers. The strangers might also prove their loyalty and other factors that will make them be given a better hospitality. They can do this through the news that they carry or what they are looking for in the region. They will gain the trust that is needed to accomplish certain tasks in their lives.
The moral conduct that is shown in the story works well with the circumstances that are present at the time. Most regions are at war and therefore cannot risk letting strangers into their territories without the knowledge of who they are. Odyssey, for instance, is looking to expand how kingdom and gets lost as he comes from a war. His army is killed as they come from a war and therefore depicts an aggressive nature. For those who know him they will show an aggressive kind of hospitality until he proves that he has come in peace. The circumstances that he is currently facing are, therefore, enough to predict the kind of hospitality that he is set to receive from people. The fact that he went to a war before all his soldiers were killed is enough to prompt the people of the native land that he cannot be allowed into their region at any cost. Word always spreads very fast when two communities or kingdoms are going to war with each other, and they also became a threat to the others. Mostly, the kings will feel that their position is being threatened, so they take immediate action of neutralizing the threat.
Odyssey was also in a circumstance where he was wanted by Poseidon, the god of the sea. He had attacked his son and made him blind and therefore Poseidon would do anything to get revenge on Odyssey. The communities that surround the sea are very much afraid of the wrath of Poseidon if they save or help Odyssey (Mitchell, Adrian & Homer). Poseidon would do anything to make sure that he revenges for his son, and this is revealed when he attacks him in the sea, and Odyssey is left helpless at the shore. He disguises himself so that people won’t know him because it will only cause fear and will be thrown out of the village. This shows that the decisions are made by reflecting on the outcome that the hospitality given will come with. For example, if one helps Odyssey then Poseidon kills them and also wipes out their villages with his powers and therefore it’s in their best interests not to help Odyssey. Their main is to keep their subjects safe in which they have to work on.
The other circumstance that makes people not to accept strangers into their homes is because their intentions are unknown. Odyssey’s home has been taken by some suitors because of the long-standing tradition of hospitality. The suitors are so powerful that they cannot be evicted from the house by the people of Odyssey’s kingdom. They start wasting Odyssey's properties and sleeping with Odyssey's workers. The women sleep with them as they think that the suitors are more powerful, and they will feel protected when they are with the suitors more than when with the wife of Odyssey. It takes time before Odyssey comes back home and kills all of them which almost causes a war. It is however averted, and the effects of hospitality are shown at Odyssey’s house.
The law of hospitality in the story makes it more interesting as Odyssey fights to get back home. There are many challenges that he encounters as he heads home especially from the lack of hospitality from communities that he passes in his journey. The lack of good hospitality to Odyssey brings out the hero in him in a way that makes the story more interesting. He has to sail without the help of anyone and is always experiencing the wrath of some gods as he sails. He withstands it and can get home and save his wife and therefore shows his traits of being a hero that can survive through rough times. It makes the story very interesting as each instance he lacks hospitality then he has to overcome something that brings out the traits of a hero within Odyssey. The lack of hospitality can, therefore, be viewed in a positive way in the writing of the story.
People in the story have different ways of giving hospitality to others. The people of the native land are the biggest determinants of how a person will be treated when they arrive at their land. The law of hospitality in the story makes it more interesting as Odyssey fights to get back home. There are many challenges that he encounters as he heads home especially from the lack of hospitality from communities that he passes in his journey. The lack of good hospitality to Odyssey brings out the hero in him in a way that makes the story more interesting. He has to sail without the help of anyone and is always experiencing the wrath of some gods as he sails. Therefore, hospitality in all the regions in the book is enhanced by the morals that the people have and their views towards strangers. If they view strangers as harmless they welcome them properly but turn hostile if they believe that the strangers are dangerous.
Mitchell, Adrian, and Homer. "The Odyssey." (2000). Print.