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The Odyssey Book 4 Quotes

How we cite the quotes:


Quote 10

(Telemachos:) ‘The court of Zeus must be like this on the inside, such abundance of everything. Wonder takes me as I look on it.’ Menelaos of the fair hair overheard him speaking, and now he spoke to both of them and addressed them in winged words: ‘Dear children, there is no mortal who could rival Zeus, seeing that his mansions are immortal and his possessions.’ (4.74-79)

When Telemachos remarks that Menelaos’s court is godly, Menelaos shows his humility by saying that no mortal man can rival the splendor of the gods.

Quote 11

Now Peisistratos son of Nestor spoke up before him: 'Great Menelaos, son of Atreus, leader of the people, this in in truth the son of that man, just as you are saying; but he is modest, and his spirit would be shocked at the thought of coming here and beginning a show of reckless language in front of you, for we both delight in your voice […].' (4.155-160)

Here's Telemachos being humble again—so humble that he can't even bring himself to stand up in front of Menelaos and speak for himself. Humility is one thing, but making someone else speak for you? Not too cool, we think.


Quote 12

(Menelaos:) ‘[…] and Aias would have escaped his doom, though Athene hated him, had he not gone wildly mad and tossed out a word of defiance; for he said that in despite of the gods he escaped the great gulf of the sea, and Poseidon heard him, loudly vaunting, and at once with his ponderous hands catching up the trident he drove it against the Gyrean rock, and split a piece off it, and part of it stayed where it was, but a splinter crashed in the water, and this was where Aias had been perched when he raved so madly. It carried him down to the depths of the endless and tossing main sea. So Aias died, when he had swallowed down the salt water.’ (4.502-511)

Aias’s story can be seen as a warning to Odysseus not to let his own pride get out of hand, lest he anger the gods with his hubris.

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