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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Xenia

9/25/09
• Was Lord Hautdesert truly hospitable? Throughout history there have been many examples of hospitality, but none surpass that of the Greeks xenia. Xenia was a Olympian law that required the Greeks to be hospitable to the point of giving up safety and comfort. In the Iliad, Glaucus and Diomedes not only refused to fight each other, but exchanged there armor because their families had shared bread and xenia. In the Odyssey, the son of Odysseus extended xenia to a complete stranger, Mentor, who was the goddess Athena in disguise, while his household was falling apart.
• Lord Hautdesert did extend hospitality to Gawain, but it was not at the level of xenia. His hospitality only extended to the first night. He fed, clothed, and boarded Gawain in comfort and luxury. The next three days, however, tell a different tale. The lord did not protect his guest from the wiles of his wife, he tested Gawain without cause, and he led Gawain to believe that the lord was someone who he was not. Lord Bercilak even went as far as having all of his peasant try to dissuade Gawain from visiting the Green Knight, who, unknown to Gawain, was Lord Bercilak.

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