Book 17-18

One of the main ideas that I feel was repeatedly introduced in these two books was the idea of hospitality, and how it is important to treat people with respect regardless of their material wealth and appearance, as you never know their true nature. It reminds me of the age old saying, ‘never judge a book by its cover’, several biblical anecdotes and folk tales I have encountered as a child, and even the modern-day show “Undercover Boss”, which is a testament to the timelessness of Homer’s works, and how the morals and ideas are still integral features of literature and modern culture.

I think the idea of humility being a necessity being the center of these two chapters is hinted to in several places. For example, Irus’s challenging of Odysseus under the impression he was frail, old and weak lead to his downfall. Melanthius, son of Dolius’s use of harsh abrasive language against Odysseus due to his perception of him as an ‘old swine’ and unruly beggar lead to his demise as well.

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