The Greek Code of Conduct
Six New Rules!
Faithfulness and Loyalty to the Nation
Example: Odysseus demonstrated these traits when beginning his journey home
-"His heart set on his wealth and his return" (book 1)
-"...fighting to save his life and bring his comrades home" (book 1)
These show that he was staying loyal and faithful to his land due to his mindset on returning to Ithaca.
Non-Example: Odysseus and his crew failed to uphold these traits
-"We lingered, feasting long on roasts and wine, until a year grew fat" (pg. 924-925)
Odysseus stayed at Aeaea and showed no interest in returning to Ithaca once he had been there for a year and had fed himself until he was full.
Stay True To Your Word
Example: Penelope and Odysseus's marriage
-Penelope asked Odysseus the question concerning their immovable bed, proving that he was truly her husband. (book 23)
Penelope's suspicion proves her faithfulness to Odysseus, keeping her word, as spouses do once they become married.
Non-Example: Odysseus's men at Helios's Island
-"Once I'd said this, they swore, as I had asked, they'd never kill those animals." (book 12)
His men were not keeping their promise to him. They swore they would not kill the animals, yet they did.
Be Aware Of Your Consequences
Example: Circe gives Odysseus advice and recognition of what is to come in the future
-"One of two courses you may take, and you yourself must weigh them. I shall not plan the whole action for you now..." (pg. 929)
What Circe tells Odysseus allows him to know of what will happen when he comes across the obstacle.
Non-Example: Odysseus's wanting to fight off Scylla
-"Only instruct me, goddess, if you will, how, if possible; can I pass Charybdis, or fight off Scylla when she raids my crew?" (book 12)
Odysseus does not know the result of what would happen if he chose to do so.
Follow The Directions Of Others
Example: Circe's order for Odysseus to go to the Underworld
-"I poured out libations to all the dead... I offered many prayers, with promises I'd sacrifice... load the alter with fine gifts..." (book 11)
Odysseus did what Circe told him and went to the Underworld and presented offerings to the shades of the dead.
Non-Example: The disobedience of Odysseus's men at Helios's Island
-"Zeus and Helios raged, dead set against Odysseus for his men-at-arms had killed the cattle of the Sun..." (book 19)
Odysseus's men chose to kill the animals on the island for food when they were told not to.
Have Good Intentions
Example: The encounter with the Cyclops, Polyphemus
-"Yet I refused. I wished to see that caveman, what he had to offer." (book 9)
Odysseus urged his crew on in seeing the Cyclops with the good intention of determining whether the Cyclops could help them in any way.
Non-Example: Odysseus carried out an action out of greed
- Odysseus took the lives of 72 of his men, when raiding the Cyclones. (book 9)
He did not act out of kindness, but selfishness and desire.
Example: The way characters treat other characters
-"The maid Eurynome bathed him, rubbed him down with oil and drew around him a royal cape and choice tunic too." (book 23)
-"So I took Odysseus back to my own house, gave him a hero's welcome, treated him in style--" (book 19)
The characters demonstrate polite behavior towards others
Non-Example: The Suitors
-"... easy for them, all right, they feed on another goods and go scot-free..." (book 1)
The Suitors were not welcome into Odysseus and Penelope's house, yet they feasted and rested in his home.