The Ancient World (HUM 124 - UNC Asheville)/Texts/Odyssey/Book 14

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Summary[edit | edit source]

Th overall summary of the chapter, The Loyal Slave, Eumaeus, a loyal shepherd, finds Odysseus outside his hut. With the guard dogs protecting Eumaeus from the older man, Eumaeus fights the dogs off with stones. Even though he does not know that the man who appears outside his hut is Odysseus, Eumaeus invites him in and provides the man food and shelter. There Odysseus has a hearty meal of pork from two piglets and listens as Eumaeus praises upon the memory of his former master, whom he fears is dead and never to return. Odysseus predicts that Eumaeus will see his master again quite soon, but Eumaeus does not seem to want to accept the possibility that he will return. Eumaeus talks about how suitors have fabricated news in the return of Odysseus, to Penelope. Still, Eumaeus seems to take a liking to his guest and allows Odysseus to stay the night, while providing him a cloak to keep warm on a chilly night. When Eumaeus asks Odysseus about his origins, Odysseus lies that he is from Crete. He claims he fought by Odysseus' side at Troy and made it home safely, but a trip that he made later to Egypt didn't go well, and he was lead to poverty. It was during this time, that he heard that Odysseus was still alive. Allowing Eumaeus to still have hope for the return of his master, proving his loyalty.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Odysseus: The main character within the story, playing the role of the old man, being Eumaeus' former master.

Eumaeus: The Shephard, who is the loyal slave within the chapter and provides Odysseus a place to stay.

Zeus: The God, known as the King of all Gods, who happened to struck the ship with lightening. He is said to weigh over man's fate.

Ancient World Views[edit | edit source]

Hosting Etiquettes:[edit | edit source]

In the ancient world views, it was known that all people were to open there homes up to anyone who were to show up on their doorstep. This is for in case one were to be a God, and are in need of shelter. The hosts were supposed to feed and provide comfort to their guests to ensure they were looked out for by the Gods. This was seen in book 14, where Eumaeus took in Odysseus and provided him a feast along with clean clothing, and a roof above his head. This was common practice for people during these times.

Respect:[edit | edit source]

During this time period, respect and loyalty was something that everyone would be expected to show, especially when it came to Gods. This feeds off of hosting anyone who were to arrive at your doorstep, and you were to feed and shelter them. In book 14, it is well represented that Eumaeus had given Odysseus his full loyalty and respect towards his guest. He would talk about how the other people had decided to disrespect Odysseus while he was away, and basically proves his faithfulness to his God.

Women and How They Were Perceived:[edit | edit source]

Woman in ancient stories were perceived to be very respected. They played very important roles in the Odyssey. They were seen as powerful, submissive, loyal, and wise. In the book 14, it was talked about how Odysseus' wife mourned the loss of her husband and how men were then trying to take Odysseus' wife once he had been gone for some time.