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The Odyssey Book 4 Quotes

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Quote 4

(Menelaos:) ‘[…] and sitting well in order we dashed the oars in the gray sea, back to where Egypt is, the sky-falled river, and there I stranded my ships, and there I rendered complete hecatombs. But when I had ended the anger of the gods, who are everlasting, I piled a mound for Agamemnon, so that his memory might never die. I did this, and set sail, and the immortals gave me a wind, so brought me back to my own dear country with all speed.’ (4.580-587)

Menelaos shows respect for his kin by honoring his murdered brother with a proper burial mound.


Quote 5

(Menelaos:) 'Dear friend, since you have said all that a man who is thoughtful could say or do, even one who was older than you are— why, this is the way your father is, so you too speak thoughtfully. Easily recognized is the line of that man, for whom Kronos' son weaves good fortune in his marrying and begetting, as now he has given to Nestor, all his days, for himself to grow old prosperously in his own palace, and also that his sons should be clever and excellent in the spear's work.' (4.204-212)

What more could a proud father ask for than sons who are good at throwing a spear? Well, if you're talking about the warlike culture of the ancient Greeks, probably not much. Today, we'd settle for a nice doctor or lawyer.


Quote 6

(Helen:) ‘Shall I be wrong, or am I speaking the truth? My heart tells me to speak, for I think I never saw such a likeness, neither in man nor woman, and wonder takes me as I look on him, as this man has a likeness to the son of great-hearted Odysseus, Telemachos, who was left behind in the house, a young child by that man when, for the sake of shameless me, the Achaians went beneath Troy, their hearts intent upon reckless warfare.’ (4.140-146)

Telemachos has the handsome appearance of his renowned father, but more importantly has inherited Odysseus’s character.

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