Listen Up!

Greek Code of Conduct

Rule #1: You shall always be hospitable and welcoming to guests in your home

DO: Be caring and considerate of the guest that enter your living area regardless of their status.

Penelope corrects Antinous on his hospitality and says, "Antinous, discourtesy to a guest of Telemachus - whatever guest - that is not handsome."

DO NOT: Be rude and cause harm upon any person that come into your home when they are not harming you.

The Cyclops shows no hospitality towards Odysseus and his men and traps them in his cave to eat. This results in six deaths (Book 9).

Rule #2: Respect your gods under all means

DO: Always obey each of your gods and listen to what they say.

Odysseus swore a solemn oath to the gods": a sacred promise to always obey the gods (Book 1).

DO NOT: Ignore or disrespect any god regardless of the situation.

Circe questioned Odysseus saying, "Old contender, will you not yield to the immortal gods?" She couldn't believe Odysseus was going to disobey one of the most important Greek values by disrespecting the gods (Book 12)

Rule #3: Never leave your men behind and always stay loyal to people our close to

DO: Go after your men if they are involved in harm or danger.

Odysseus goes into Circe's Castle to save his men after hearing that she had put a spell on them and transformed them into animals (Book 10).

DO NOT: Be selfish and be disloyal to those who are close to you.

When Odysseus is in the Underworld, Agamemnon tells him the story of his wife being disloyal to him. Agamemnon believed that "there was nothing more disgusting, more disgraceful, than a woman whose heart is set on deeds like this - the way she planned the shameless act, to arrange the murder of the man she married." Agamemnon looks down upon this woman because what she did was just wrong. Being disloyal to your family isn't right (Book 11).

Rule #4: Fight for goodness and not for evil

DO: Fight when someone or yourself is in danger or when the fight is for a good cause. When Odysseus began to gain revenge on all the suitors and win his family back, "Zeus thundered overhead (Book 22). This thunderbolt is a symbol for triumph and good because Odysseus is finally back home and is able to have his life back. He gains the revenge he was waiting for. It was the right decision to fight the suitors because it was for a good cause.

DO NOT: betray anyone or fight for evil.

Agamemnon's wife, Clytemnestra, betrayed him by having an affair with another man. Her and that other man planned to kill Agamemnon when he returned from the war. This was an evil action.

Rule #5: Think cleverly and use your mind in all circumstances

DO: Be wise with your decisions and keep a strong mind in order to overcome obstacles. When Odysseus and his men were trapped in Polyphemus's home, "Odysseus wove many schemes, all sorts of tricks". He finally was able to get his men out by tying them to the stomachs of goats (Book 9).

DO NOT: make impulsive decisions. Think things through.

Odysseus makes a dumb decision after escaping the Cyclops's cave. He decides to give his identity away due to his excessive pride and says, "Cyclops, if any mortal man ever asks you who it was that inflicted upon your eye this shameful blinding, tell him that you were blinded by Odysseus , sacker of cities. Laertes is his father, and he makes his home on Ithaca." Greeks value having a strong mind. Odysseus's quick decision fails to follow this value (Book 9).

Rule #6: Always take others' advice into consideration

DO: Listen to the input and opinions of others and try to understand and/or use what they have to say.

On many occasions, Odysseus was given advice from others to help him along his journey. During one of these times, Hermes came to him to warn him about Circe and her tricks. He told Odysseus to eat a magical herb so that he could be protected from Circe's spells. Odysseus took Hermes advice into consideration and it ended up helping him (Book 10).

DO NOT: ignore others when they are only trying to help you.

When Odysseus and his men arrived at the Cyclops's cave and found that the creature wasn't there, his men wanted to steal food and leave. However, Odysseus claimed, "[He] wouldn't listen, though it would have been best, wishing to see the giant himself, and test his hospitality." Odysseus shows excessive pride here and doesn't listen to the advice of his men. They end up getting stuck within the cave because of this decision (Book 9).