Loyalty to family, community, and the gods is an important quality in the lives of ancient Greek citizens. These qualities are clear demonstrated in The Odyssey through Penelope, Telemakhos, and Odysseus.
Penelope shows her loyalty in several ways. She shows loyalty to Odysseus by waiting for his return for twenty long years. She did not choose a suitor until she knew for sure that Odysseus was dead.
To delay the decision of choosing a suitor, Penelope said she would marry a suitor after she had finished weaving her shroud. She showed that she was weaving the shroud during the day, but at night, when it got dark she secretly unwove it. That is how Penelope shows her loyalty to her family.
Telemakhos also shows loyalty to his family and community in various ways. He shows loyalty to the community by welcoming strangers to his home with feasts and gifts. He shows loyalty to his family by risking his life on the search for the knowledge of Odysseus’ situation.
He journeys to Pylos and Sparta to seek news of his father whether he is dead or lost. This shows loyalty to Odysseus because he risks his life to know of his well being. This also shows loyalty to Penelope by journeying to Pylos and Sparta, even though his path may be dangerous, just so he can find knowledge of Odysseus and ease his mother’s pain. He also shows loyalty to Penelope by trying to protect her and keeping the suitors away from her. During the final battle, Telemakhos shows loyalty to his father by fighting side by side with him against the suitors even though he knows he might die in battle.
Odysseus shows loyalty like Telemakhos and Penelope to the gods and his family.
Odysseus is a man that can be described as tenacious. He is always focused on one objective and that is to get home. He is persistent and overcomes any temptation that gets in his way. An example of this is when he is with the beautiful nymph Kalypso. She offers him immortality to stay with her and leave his thoughts for home but he gave it all up for his family and home. He never gave up hope and continued to trudge his way back home.
He also shows loyalty to the god by not cursing them for all the harmful events that occur during his journey home.
This book shows many clear examples of loyalty in the ancient Greek society. Loyalty was an important quality and to be disloyal meant death for the ancient Greeks. This is shown through the women who were disloyal and slept with the suitors. By Odysseus’ command “they would be hung like doves or larks in springes triggered in a thicket.” In conclusion, loyalty is shown throughout this book and is considered very important to the ancient Greeks.