Six Essential Greek Codes of Conduct
Citizens must be strong of mind!
Do: Use your mind to overcome obstacles. On page 907 in book nine, Polyphemus screams, "Nohbody, Nohbody's tricked me, Nohbody's ruined me." Then Odysseus was, "filled with laughter see how like a charm the name deceived them."
Do not: Go into a situation without thinking first. In book 11, Elpenor climbed onto the roof and died from falling off while drunk. When talking with Odysseus as a spirit, he blames, "some fatal deity" and "too much wine" for his death.
Citizens must be strong of body!
Do: Gain great strength to be more powerful. In book 21, Odysseus was the only man who could string his bow and shoot through twelve axe heads with ease.
Do not: Have too little strength to deal with obstacles. Also in book 21, the suitors suffered, "the worst humiliation- to be shown up for children measured against Odysseus."
Always Show Loyalty, devotion, and bravery!
Do: Remain loyal to others. In book 10, Odysseus's men are turned to pigs by Circe. Despite Euryluchos's warning, "Odysseus rushed to save his men from the enchantress."
Do not: Betray others' trust. In book 12, Odysseus's men kill the god Helios's cattle after Odysseus instructed them not to. This betrayal led to the crewmen's destruction.
Obey The GOds!
Do: Always show obedience to the Gods! In book 11, Odysseus orders his men to "prey to the Gods, to mighty Hades and dread Persephone," upon entering the Underworld.
Do not: Disobey the Gods. In book 12, Odysseus's men disrespect Helios, the sun god, in eating his cattle. Therefore, to appease him, Zeus sends a thunderbolt to kill them.
Good must always be triumphant over evil!
Do: Assist the goals and values of the good. In book 9, Odysseus prevails over Polyphemus with the help of his men and some conveniently placed sheep.
Do not: Support the goals and values of the bad. In book 22, the suitors band together to take over the house of Odysseus. As a result, they all fail to escape death and are murdered in the great hall.
Always be hospitable to the wandering hero!
Do: Open your doors for the wandering the wandering hero. In book 10, after recognizing Odysseus, Circe seats his men on thrones and lounging chairs, "while she prepared a meal of cheese and barley."
Do not: Be inhospitable to the wandering hero. In book 9, when Odysseus and his men arrive in the cave of Polyphemus, Polyphemus takes to a cannibalistic nature and devours many of Odysseus's men. Then, Odysseus blinds the Cyclops saying, "Eater of guests under your roof! Zeus and the gods have paid you!"