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The Odyssey

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Euryclea Washes the Beggar’s Feet

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The beggar, Ulysses in disguise, is shown hospitality because he is Telemachus’ guest. When Euryclea is asked to wash his feet, she gives the following speech

My dear child, I cannot think whatever I am to do with you. I am certain no one was ever more god-fearing than yourself, and yet Jove hates you. No one in the whole world ever burned him more thigh bones, nor gave him finer hecatombs when you prayed you might come to a green old age yourself and see your son grow up to take after you; yet see how he has prevented you alone from ever getting back to your own home. I have no doubt the women in some foreign palace which Ulysses has got to are gibing at him as all these sluts here have been gibing you. I do not wonder at your not choosing to let them wash you after the manner in which they have insulted you; I will wash your feet myself gladly enough, as Penelope has said that I am to do so; I will wash them both for Penelope's sake and for your own, for you have raised the most lively feelings of compassion in my mind; and let me say this moreover, which pray attend to; we have had all kinds of strangers in distress come here before now, but I make bold to say that no one ever yet came who was so like Ulysses in figure, voice, and feet as you are.

The Odyssey consistently emphasizes the theme of hospitality towards guests. Which maxim best sums up the underlying principle that supported this custom?

A

A penny saved is a penny earned.

B

Treat others as you wish to be treated.

C

Above all: to thine own self be true.

D

Blood is thicker than water.

E

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.