The Odyssey Book 16 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
(Odysseus:) ‘I wish that I were truly as young as I am in spirit, or a son of stately Odysseus were here, or he himself might come in from his wandering. There is time still for hope. If such things could be, another could strike my head from my shoulders if I did not come as an evil thing to all those people as I entered the palace of Odysseus, the son of Laertes. And if I, fighting alone, were subdued by all their number, then I would rather die, cut down in my own palace, than to have to go on watching forever these shameful activities, guests being battered about, or to see them rudely mishandling the serving women all about the beautiful palace, to see them drawing the wine and eating up food in this utterly reckless way, without end, forever and always at it.’ (16.99-111)
Odysseus advises Telemachos that it is more honorable to die fighting on one’s feet than to live tolerating such behavior from the suitors. Honor, then, is valued above life in the Odyssey.
He came up to meet his master, and kissed his head, and kissed too his beautiful shining eyes, and both his hands, and the swelling tear fell from him. And as a father, with heart full of love, welcomes his only and grown son, for whose sake he has undergone many hardships when he comes back in the tenth year from a distant country, so now the noble swineherd, clinging fast to godlike Telemachos, kissed him even as if he had escaped dying […].' (16.14-21)
Let's throw a little old-school analogies at you. Eumaios : servants :: Odysseus : men. He's so loyal to his presumably dead master that he thinks of the boy as his own son.