Literature Question

Learning Goal: I’m working on a literature discussion question and need the explanation and answer to help me learn.

This professor requires very engaging responses , maybe as a question.

respond to Caden-Hospitality, or “xenia” in ancient Greek, plays a pivotal role in Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey.” Xenia encompasses the reciprocal relationship between hosts and guests, emphasizing generosity, courtesy, and protection. Within the world of the epic, hospitality serves as a fundamental virtue, essential for maintaining social order, demonstrating one’s honor, and pleasing the gods. Throughout “The Odyssey,” instances of hospitality highlight the interconnectedness of Greek society and the consequences of either upholding or violating their hospitality laws. Odysseus himself is often both the beneficiary and the practitioner of hospitality, encountering various hosts and acting as a guest in multiple settings.

One specific moment where the codes of hospitality are central occurs when Odysseus arrives at the palace of King Alcinous and Queen Arete of the Phaeacians. Initially, Odysseus is a stranger washed ashore after years of wandering. The Phaeacians, renowned for their hospitality, immediately extend their generosity towards Odysseus. Alcinous welcomes him, provides him with food, drink, and shelter, and promises to assist him in returning home. This gesture exemplifies the ideal of hospitality, showing kindness to a stranger without hesitation or expectation of immediate repayment.

The traditional views that are depicted in the odyssey realistically do not align with the foundational values in my own community. Due to the way that the world has evolved with different party systems becoming progressively radical , the views of how we should take people in has shifted. Although it is in our human nature to care for one another , it is evident from current world events that these things should be taken seriously because the amount of harm in the world outweighs the good it can be to show hospitality to certains.


Respond to Adriana-Hospitality plays a significant role in the Odyssey as it is often depicted as a virtue that is highly valued within the world of the epic. In ancient Greek society, hospitality, also known as xenia, was considered a sacred duty that must be observed. It was believed that gods could disguise themselves as strangers, so being hospitable to a stranger was seen as a way to honor the gods. Additionally, the exchange of gifts, food, and shelter between hosts and guests was a way to establish bonds and alliances. In the Odyssey, we see examples of both good and bad hospitality, with characters like Telemachus and Odysseus exemplifying the value of being a good host and guest.

One specific moment in the Odyssey where codes of hospitality are upheld is when Telemachus visits Nestor in Pylos. Despite being a stranger, Telemachus is welcomed warmly by Nestor, who provides him with food, drink, and shelter. Nestor also honors the customs of hospitality by giving Telemachus gifts before he leaves. This moment demonstrates the importance of hospitality as a virtue in the epic, as Telemachus and Nestor both adhere to the codes of xenia. In my own community, we also value hospitality and believe in treating guests with respect and kindness. Offering food and drink to visitors, making them feel welcome in our homes, and providing assistance when needed are all important aspects of hospitality that are upheld in my community.

In contrast, a moment in the Odyssey where codes of hospitality are subverted is when Odysseus encounters the Cyclops Polyphemus. Instead of welcoming Odysseus and his men, Polyphemus traps them in his cave, eats some of his men, and shows no respect for the customs of hospitality. This violation of hospitality leads to dire consequences as Odysseus seeks revenge on Polyphemus, causing further challenges for him on his journey home. This example highlights the consequences of not honoring the traditions of hospitality and how it can lead to conflict and betrayal. In my own community, acts of inhospitality are frowned upon and are seen as a betrayal of trust and respect. We believe that treating others with kindness and generosity, especially strangers, is an important virtue that strengthens relationships and fosters goodwill.


respond back to my professor in regards to my own post

my own post-

The Odyssey by Homer is a very well known and respected Greek epic, that takes readers on the complex journey of Odysseus navigating the difficult path home from the Trojan War. This epic not only expresses physical challenges but delves into the psychological and spiritual quest of the hero. The Odyssey explores themes of homecoming, justice, vengeance, and the restoration of order. However, a noticeable moral theme runs through the entire epic, emphasizing the vital role of hospitality.

The epics relationship between hosts and guests emphasizes hospitality and mutual respect, with characters expected to uphold this virtue in their interactions, contributing to a harmonious social structure. Throughout the narrative, the frequent intervention of divine beings like Athena further underscores the importance of hospitality, highlighting its role as a means of divine judgment (Homer et al. 2007).

In addition, hospitality serves as a foundation for character development in the epic. Characters like Odysseus encounter different hosts in their journey and navigate various challenges of being a guest, contributing to their overall development. One moment in the epic where the theme of hospitality is upheld is when Athena visits Telemachus, Odysseus’s son. Telemachus, following Greek societal customs, warmly receives Athena, treating her respectfully and providing food and shelter. When Telemachus sails with Athena to find news for his father, they are similarly invited by Nestor’s companions. Nestor’s son, Peisistratus, approaches them, directing them to sit on a soft couch and dine beside his father and brother (Homer et al. 2007). In Book 14, Eumaeus, the swineherd, welcoming Odysseus and preparing a meal for him, further highlights the enduring importance of hospitality.

The depictions of hospitality in the Odyssey align with the traditions of my community in various ways. Similar to the Odyssey, my community emphasizes welcoming and respecting guests by listening to them and offering companionship. Additionally, providing visitors with food and shelter is customary in my community. Reciprocity, a central concept in the Odyssey, is also prevalent in my community, where hosts offer kindness, respect, and generosity to strangers, expecting similar treatment when needed. Similarly, my community understands that providing hospitality may be reciprocated in the future. However, the consequences of violating hospitality may not be as dire in my community as in the Odyssey. Here, the understanding is that mistreating guests may harm ones reputation and relationships, which is perceived as less mythical than the consequences depicted in the Odyssey.

my professor wrote back to my post


There is, of course, a direct connection between hospitality and the stability of any society. Those who extend hospitality to others are those who have a set of moral values — the same that undergird their community. Is this one of the reasons why Greek culture was so enduring … why we still study it today?- Dr. Dew

now I need to respond back to Dr. Dew-