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Autor: anton • November 22, 2010 • 743 Words (3 Pages) • 647 Views
I found through my reading of the Odyssey that Loyalty played a significant role in its development. Loyalty by its definition means a firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution. Homer presents four major illustrations of loyalty, which are given by Penelope, Telemachus, the servants Eumaeus and Philoetius, and Odysseus. Penelope is Odysseus's devoted wife who not only does not re-marry, but also keeps hope that Odysseus is still alive. Telemachus embarks on a journey to find his father, who he has no recollection of. Eumaeus, the swineherd and Philoetius, the cowherd remained faithful servants of Odysseus even during his epic journey. Odysseus himself stayed true to the gods, who managed to keep him alive.
Penelope is probably the best representative of loyalty in this epic novel. Penelope is a faithful wife, who waits twenty years without ever allowing she to marry one of the many suitors. There eventually did come a time when Penelope told the suitors she would marry once she finished Odysseus's father's shroud, yet she says, " By day I'd weave at my great and growing web-by night, by the night of the torches set beside me, I would unravel all I'd done" (Book XIX, p 431, 167). The fact that she intentionally used trickery to distract the suitors shows her loyalty to her husband. By showing, her commitment to her long lost love, Homer created Penelope to look like an undoubtedly loyal character.
The second most outstanding presentation of loyalty in this novel was one of father and son. Telemachus, Odysseus only sun, shows his loyalty by going on a journey to an unfamiliar land to find his fathers destiny. Only knowing his fathers legacy and greatness as a leader, does not distraught Telemachus, it only pushes him harder to find his fathers true fate. Other sons might have forgotten about their father, and simply blocked them out of their minds. Nevertheless, Telemachus remained a loyal son and struggled to gain the unique father and son bond, which has not been a part of him.
Another significant example of loyalty in the novel is the one of the servant and master. Eumaeus and Philoetius showed their authentic care for the master that has been long gone in the sea of deep agony. Eumaeus spoke very highly of his king's return home, "Now bring my prayer to pass! Let that man come back-some god guide him now" (Book XXI, 267). When both servants realized the identity of the beggar, Odysseus, both men broke down into tears and their arms around their old master'. This, and the fact that both men risked their lives in the slaughtering of the suitors,