The Food In The Odyssey

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The Food in the Odyssey

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The Food in the Odyssey


Homer's Odyssey, written in the ninth century BC leaves an important place in food, in various aspects. Indeed, the victuals are a way of welcoming a stranger and a way to thank the immortal gods. However, the food is also a divine aspect, decisive in the founding text of Homer. In ancient Greece, food took a considerable place and links to a certain culture. In society, banquets were organized to welcome visitors, or gather a community. Aristotle, in his treatise on the soul, the desire defined as "the appetite of fun." Indeed, hunger is one of the desires, but only when it is satisfied that stands out with pleasure. Repeatedly, the Odyssey highlights the pleasure of eating, partying and enjoying tasty food (Lister, Baker, 2004). The poem organizes the semantic field of food, products and ways, almost like a catalog of patterns that appear throughout the poem, according to the methods of compression and expansion of the traditional themes that characterize the oral epic composition.

Food in the Odyssey

Food, as part of daily life in ancient literature has greater importance than one might think at first. There are many texts claiming that food and drink play a relevant role in idealizing the generic roles and the representation of events in stories and poems. The Homeric epic gives a large space to the food issue and its treatment in general responds to the poetic celebratory own gender. Iliad and Odyssey in the form of food is one of the elements that distinguish the heroes of the gods, who take nectar and ambrosia. Also separate them from ordinary men and their audience; they could hardly have access to an abundance of steak and wine reflecting the poems.

There are countless references to the quality, quantity and patterns of food, both in connection with the gods and in their intrinsic meaning. In the Odyssey acquire so much importance to food and drink that come to function as a semiotic system that accompanies the unfolding of the narrative plot and, like a dress, it becomes an identification of the theme (Joseph, 2010). The poem can be read as an anthropology narrative framework in which the gastronomic area functions as a symbolic operator in the task of mapping the world. The poem displays a catalog of ways to eat food that give the poem the culinary ethos that characterizes it.

Why Food is so important in the Poem?

Homer highlights the significance of food and eating in Greek culture. Food and drink was taken as a reward or temptation for men. Thus in Book 1, "They stretched out their hands to the dishes that had been served. / When they had appeased the thirst and appetite, / the pretenders were more concerned than dancing and singing. This example illustrates the association of food with festivity and environment where the food was served. Food is a category where the intent of gender works in full. The great heroes ...
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