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Should Odysseus Be Judged for His Violence Towards the Suitors?

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    The great tactician Odysseus is a strong and noble leader. He is very smart and uses his swave intellect to escape many dangerous and tough situations. As well he is a convincing speaker and can convince who he is talking to do his bidding. He is a strong willed man and now that he is home from his 20 year treacherous journey, he wants to be happy with his wife and finally learn what a great man his son had become.

    The suitors have been in Odysseus kingdom for about the last 10 years, eating his food, drinking his wine, killing his livestock, and most importantly, badgering his queen, Penelope, into marrying them he has every right to kill every last one of them. The head suitor, Antinous, is an arrogant man who annoys Penelope. He is the one that plots to kill Telemachus so marrying the queen will be an easier task. Odysseus is not fond of this. Antinous is the first one he shoots down with his bow. He brutally slaughters the suitors in book 22 titled “Slaughter in the Hall” and does not let a single one survive.

    Odysseus was ethically correct in the slaughter of the suitors. They disrespected his property, family and he and he had every right to take out his anger on them. Some plea and even brave Leodes clutched the knees of Odysseus and said, I hug your knees Odysseus! Mercy! Spare my life! Never, I swear, did I harass any woman in your house never a word, a gesture— nothing, no, I tried to restrain the suitor whoever did such things. They wouldn’t listen; keep their hands to themselves so reckless, so they earn a shameful fate. But, I was just their prophet, my hands are clean and I’m to die their death.

    Look at the thanks I get for years of service. Following this, Odysseus killed him. He was justified for the acts that he did. As well this is in ancient Greece where people killed each other and thought nothing of it. A man’s life is not precious and valued as it is today. Also in that time, everyone is expected to be hospitable and then ask question. An example is when Odysseus gets to king Alckanos’s island. He feeds him, gives him a bed to sleep in and then asks who he is. Odysseus and his maids are expected to be hospitable to the suitors but they disobeyed the rules and went overboard.

    This was tyrannical of the suitors because you are suppose to eat, drink, rest, explain who you are and why you are there, and if there are no other issues go and do your own business not stay for 10 years and try to marry the queen in hopes that her husband will not come back or is dead and her son will die out at sea or will be killed by them. Another reason is because the suitors were all wealthy people, not old run down soldiers looking for a first meal in a week. In addition to having the justification in order to kill the suitors he also was justified to kill the maids.

    All they did was aide the suitors. They fed them to no end and this is not what their master would want them do to. They made no effort to get the suitors out of the house. This is why Odysseus was justified to kill them. Yes it was harsh for Odysseus to brutally kill all of the maids and suitors but they deserved it. The maids treated the suitors like they were kings and obeyed their every desire which is not what their king would want of them. The suitors disobeyed the rules of hospitality and on top of that attempt to murder his son and marry his wife. They were slobs and got what they deserved.

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