Violence In The Odyssey

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“Violence,” as the saying goes, “is not the answer.” Despite this, many people today still turn to violence as a way of dealing with issues in their lives. “The Odyssey,” by Homer, provides insight into the common beliefs of Ancient Greeks regarding violence, which surprisingly seem much like those of many people today. By analyzing “The Cyclops” and “Death at the Palace” in “The Odyssey,” one can conclude that Ancient Greek society accepted violence as a reasonable solution for conflicts, a common form of entertainment, and a means of revenge. The episode of the Cyclops, for example, provides clear evidence that Ancient Greeks viewed violence as amusing and as a convenient and effective way to solve problems. When Odysseus and his men entered…show more content…
Given the opportunity, Odysseus shot Antinous, the most perfidious of the suitors, with an arrow that “hit him under the chin/ and punched up to the feathers through his throat …Like pipes his nostrils jetted/ crimson runnels, a river of mortal red/ and one last kick upset his table/ knocking the bread and meat to soak in dusty blood” (703). Odysseus took his revenge on Antinous by shooting him, which justifies the common idea in Ancient Greece that violence serves as a suitable form of revenge. Odysseus also reinforced this idea when he warned the disloyal suitors “There will be killing till the score is paid. / You forced yourselves upon this house. Fight your way out, / or run for it, if you think you can escape death. / I doubt one man of you skins by…” (705). By destroying the suitors, Odysseus used violence once again as a way to satisfy his need for vengeance, despite the fact that the suitors offered alternate ways to pay him back. Since the suitors betrayed him, pursued his beloved wife Penelope, and threatened to take his place as king, Odysseus felt the need to slaughter the suitors as the most sufficient way to retaliate. “Death at the Palace” suggests Ancient Greeks considered violent revenge adequate. In conclusion, “The Odyssey” reveals that violence in Ancient Greece prevailed as entertaining and as a reasonable way to solve problems and take revenge. Though mankind developed in many ways since then, unfortunately many still share these common beliefs with the Ancient Greeks. Through violence and bloodshed, “The Odyssey” exposes our similarity to societies of ancient
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