CALLING ALL CITIZENS
Athena has set in place guidelines for all residents
Citizens should always be wise in their actions and think through the outcomes of all decisions
DO NOT: Act rashly or without thought. As Odysseus and his men flee Cyclopes' Island, Odysseus calls back to Polyphemus, claiming that if he should tell anyone of who blinded him he should "say Odysseus," (Book 9). This leads to Polyphemus cursing Odysseus and his crew with the help of Poseidon and prolonging their journey home.
Citizens should always welcome those without a home into their own and treat them as family
DO NOT: Be rude to your guests, no matter their status. The majority of Penelope's suitors are extremely rude to Odysseus when he returns, as he looks like an old beggar. However, when Odysseus reveals himself, they are soon killed in his revenge, in Book 22.
Citizens should make sacrifices to the gods
DO: Give generous sacrifices to the gods and goddesses frequently, like the Phaecians. The libations and offerings that the Phaecians grant to the gods results in "glories showered down by the gods on King Alcinous' realm," (Book 7).
DO NOT: Disrespect the immortals. The Cyclopes that Odysseus and his crew meet in Book 9 disobey the gods by not following their rules and not sacrificing to them. Polyphemus even says to Odysseus, "We Cyclopes do not care about Zeus, or any of your blessed gods." The Cyclopes do not obey the gods, nor due they sacrifice in any way, like Odysseus's men do. The cruel personalities that the Cyclopes have is partly due to their disloyalty to the gods, including their refusal to sacrifice. And ultimately Polyphemus is killed by Odysseus, as Odysseus does sacrifice, so he has the assistance of the gods on his side.
Citizens who are guests in another's home should always treat hosts with respect and not abuse their position.
DO NOT: Take more than what is given. Penelope's suitors ransack her house and kill livestock while Odysseus is gone. They later are killed, in Book 22, when Odysseus returns home, in Book 17.
Citizens should follow and respect the requests and orders that are given to them by the gods
DO: Obey the orders that the gods and goddesses give to you, like in Book 12, when "Telemachus lost no time in doing as the goddess (Athena) told him," Telemachus is rewarded for obeying Athena. His reward is his father, the great Odysseus, returning home.
DO NOT: Ignore the wishes of the immortal. When Odysseus and his crew travel to the Underworld, Odysseus speaks with Tiresias, who warns him to not disobey Apollo's wishes and take the Sun God's cattle. Odysseus obeys, but his men are driven by hunger to eat the cattle. They die for their disobedience.
Citizens should stay true to their families and fellow men
DO: Prepare a nice burial for comrades who passed away. When Elpenor talks to Odysseus in Book 11, he says "when you sail away from there, don't leave me behind." Odysseus follows his wishes and buries him where he wants.
DO NOT: Betray your spouse when they come home, In Book 11, Odysseus learns the tragic fate of Agamemnon. Agamemnon tells Odysseus, "Aegisthus and my wicked wife were the death of me between them." Agamemnon's wife's betrayal is the cause of the "trust no one " advice that Agamemnon gives to Odysseus, as well as a tragedy for both Agamemnon, and Odysseus when he hears that Agamemnon has died and is devastated.
Citizens who do not follow such rules are subject to punishment by those offended
DO: Follow these guidelines, like Odysseus. He follows all of the above guidelines and is able to return safely to his family and home. In Book 23, Odysseus says, "your husband is come home to find both wife and son alive and well." Since Odysseus obeys all of the guidelines, he is able to return back to his home and slay the evil beings who fail to follow the rules.
DO NOT: Ignore or disobey the rules. The Cyclopes and Penelope's suitors are prime examples of what happens if the rules are disobeyed. The Cyclopes live to themselves and don't worship the gods. They are also very inhospitable. Polyphemus even began to eat his guests! Odysseus gives him a warning to be more hospitable when he says "you dare to eat your guests in your own house" (B10), but the Cyclops does not listen. He is soon killed by Odysseus, who follows these rules like a good citizen. The suitors violate the rules by being extremely ignorant and also very rude to Penelope and Telemachus, their hosts. Once again, Odysseus proves that good triumphs over evil when he slays the suitors for not following the rules of society.