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The Odyssey Book 2 Quotes

How we cite the quotes:


Quote 10

(Telemachos:) ‘Antinoös, I cannot thrust the mother who bore me, who raised me, out of the house against her will. My father, alive or dead, is elsewhere in the world. It will be hard to pay back Ikarios, if willingly I dismiss my mother. I will suffer some evil from her father, and the spirit will give me more yet, for my mother will call down her furies upon me as she goes out of the house, and I shall have the people’s resentment.’ (2.130-137)

Telemachos knows that kicking your mom out of your house is a definite "don't"—unless, of course, she's murdered your father (ahem, Klytaimestra). In that case, honor demands that you kill her.


Quote 11

(Mentor:) ‘Now it is not so much the proud suitors I resent for doing their violent acts by their minds’ evil devising; for they lay their hands on the line when violently they eat up the house of Odysseus, who, they say to themselves, will not come back; but now I hold it against you other people, how you all sit there in silence, and never with an assault of words try to check the suitors, though they are so few, and you so many.’ (2.235-241)

Mentor points out the cowardice (and hence dishonor) of the majority, who stay silent out of fear and respect for the suitors. They passively dishonor Odysseus by not standing up for the proper treatment of his family and household.


Quote 12

So he spoke and the dear nurse Eurykleia cried out, and bitterly lamenting she addressed him in winged words: ‘Why, my beloved child, has this intention come into your mind? Why do you wish to wander over much country, you, an only and loved son? Illustrious Odysseus has perished far from his country in some outlandish region. And these men will devise evils against you, on your returning, so you shall die by guile, and they divide all that is yours. No, but stay here and guard your possessions. It is not right for you to wander and suffer hardships on the barren wide sea.’ (2.361-370)

Eurykleia’s loyalty to Odysseus’s household is seen in her love for Telemachos, whom she treats like her own son.

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