Families come in all shapes and sizes. Love is blind, and yet some people believe in love at first sight. These are just some of the many conceptions people have. Likewise, the model marriage, family and home have diverse definitions to people. One's culture or religion may have .
had an impact on their interpretations of these key elements in life. In spite of the varied definitions many elements are common in the universal experience. By reading The Odyssey, an epic poem by Homer, one learns Homer's beliefs of the ideal marriage, family and home. He was influenced by his religion, his time period and very likely by the way he was raised from childhood. Homer's definitions apply to the ancient Greek. Parts of these beliefs still apply today.
Marriage is a sacred bond between two people based on love. Because of her vow to Odysseus, Penelope never gave in to the temptations of the world around her. ".the wife who loves him well;" (26; 261). She kept herself for Odysseus and made all attempts possible to stave off the suitors, such as when she wove and continually unwove the shroud. She loved Odysseus heart and soul and proved this every day of her life during her marriage to him.
While Odysseus was not absolutely faithful in a sexual sense to Penelope, his love for her never ended. As it was said to him, ".the bride for whom you pine each day" (87; 219). When at Calypso's island, he only cared for Calypso physically. When Calypso tells Odysseus he may go, he is eager to return to his wife. Although Calypso is very beautiful and tempting, he wants to go back to the woman he loves.
Penelope and Odysseus together, while not the ideal married couple, show morals that are very good to follow. They both loved each other heart and soul. They both saved their spirits for the return of the other. When separated, Penelope and Odysseus missed each other terribly. These examples serve as a definition of the model marriage to all.