Odysseus: A Look at Allegiance and Loyalty

12345From the context I have gathered thus far, loyalty and allegiance are two completely separate things.  If you are loyal to someone, I think that that means that you will always serve them by doing things that help them, and don’t take away from others.  If you have allegiance to someone, you will always serve them by doing whatever they want.

12345In the poem The Odyssey, Odysseus was loyal to his wife by coming home (after ten years, but I guess that was necessary to fit in all of the stories, and buy his son enough time to grow up).  He was disloyal by Christian standards, but the Greeks had no sexual standards for males, and he made no vow to have sexual fidelity, so he was sinning in ignorance.

12345Odysseus wanted his men to live, but he spent many of their lives in order to get home, and the remaining ones spent their lives to have a meal, despite his counsel.

12345When Odysseus came home, he tested his wife to see if she was still loyal to him, and at the same time she tested him to see if it was really her husband who had been gone for twenty years.  They both passed each other’s test.

12345I think that Odysseus was loyal, but did not have standards that were very hard to stick to, though he did risk his life many times and give up immortality to get home, which required a great deal of loyalty.