Noca-Cola Case Study (2)

The Aspect of Values and Afterlife in the Odyssey


Based on Odysseus conversations and observations, it is clear that the Greek version of afterlife is a place where one can feel the pain that they felt during their lives, without the satisfaction of retribution. The underworld is not a good place to be, and it becomes apparent that in order for one to find peace in the afterlife, they must have lived a righteous life on Earth. For this reason, honor and valor proved more important than intellect. Even if someone was not necessarily honorable in life, as long as they showed enough intelligence or cunning on earth (Achilles), Hades gave them safe passage into Elysium. “Then Odysseus saw the spirits of Achilles, Patróklos, Antílokhos, and Aîas. Achiulles (Achilles) asked for news of his son, Neoptólemos, which Odysseus provided as best he could, saying that Neoptólemos finely distinguished himself in the fighting at the Trojan horse.” (11.6)

The major values that seem most important to the Greeks were not physical, like Achilles, but spiritual values (Odysseus). This is why people lived so long. The Greeks believed that a person’s soul was immortal and would return to the body on their death, even though their body continued its mortality. By doing so, people were able to continue on after their death with the knowledge of how their lives had gone. It is apparent in the Odyssey that if one were to live a righteous life with honor or valor, Hades would send them into Elysium with help from other interesting characters in Hell (Eurycleia and Penelope). With this in mind, it can be concluded that Greek views of punishment and afterlife were very humane.


Most people have grappled with the idea of afterlife and important values. I believe that certain values are present in the Greek version of afterlife, but at the same time they are different from our values in many ways. I believe that one of the main differences between our value system and the Greeks is that we don’t look down on anyone (or at least I hope we don’t) and we do not see people as being less important than others due to superficial standards.