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The Odyssey Book 22 Quotes

How we cite the quotes:

Quote 1

And now Athene waved the aegis, that blights humanity, from high aloft on the roof, and all their wits were bewildered; and they stampeded about the hall, like a herd of cattle set upon and driven wild by the darting horse fly […]. (22.297-300)

Athene finally reveals what we all already know: that she will fight by Odysseus’s side. This was destined to happen and the sign bound to show, so the only question was when. Certain events, we see, are predetermined, but the execution and timing of those events are left to choice.


Quote 2

(Odysseus:) ‘You dogs, you never thought I would any more come back from the land of Troy, and because of that you despoiled my household, and forcibly took my serving women to sleep beside you, and sought to win my wife while I was still alive, fearing neither the immortal gods who hold the wide heaven, nor any resentment sprung from men to be yours in the future. Now upon you all the terms of destruction are fastened.’ (22.35-41)

Odysseus cites the suitors’ crime as one not only of incivility, but of impiety as well.


Quote 3

(Odysseus:) 'Keep your joy in your heart, old dame; stop, do not raise up the cry. It is not piety to glory so over slain men. These were destroyed by the doom of the gods and their own hard actions […].' (22.411-413)

Piety isn't just about sacrificing to the gods—it's also about how you treat your fellow men. It's not quite "do unto others," but Odysseus is reminding the overly enthusiastic woman that these men are dead because the gods wanted it to be that way. Making a fuss about it just isn't respectful.

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