Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Odysseus Wrecks

Why is it that when a figure of elevated status (Odysseus in Homer's The Odyssey) can always manage to escape mass amounts of guilt and carnage because they are Heroes?
For example, a very modern model is Lindsey Lohan. (any more need be said?) She was released from prison days after being sent there... Because she is a star. In a more literary context, the Greek hero Odysseus returns from the epic Trojan Waronly to find his home overrun with unwelcome guests; suitors competing for his wife's hand. In Greek society at the time, a value known as Xenios was critical to society. Xenios was the fair and elevated treatment of guests in a person's presence or home. (Also valued by Christians, as the Ninth Circle of Hell is dedicated to those who betrayed friends family and guests.) Regardless of this, Odysseus strikes many of these men down. However, he is not punished by the gods. Does his status as a hero absolve him of the guilt of murdering his guests?

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