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The Odyssey Book 24 Quotes

How we cite the quotes:

Quote 1

Then standing close beside him gray-eyed Athene said to him: 'Son of Arkeisios, far dearest of all my companions, make your prayer to the gray-eyed girl and to Zeus her father, then quickly balance your far-shadowing spear, and throw it.' So Pallas Athene spoke, and breathed into him enormous strength, and, making his prayer then to the daughter of Zeus, he quickly balanced his far-shadowing spear, and threw it, and struck Eupeithes on the brazen side of his helmet, nor could the helm hold off the spear, but the bronze smashed clean through. (24.516-524)

Laertes (he's the son of Arkeisios) smashes a spear right through the head of Eupeithes, Antinoös's father. It's fitting that Odysseus's dad kills Antinoös dad—and it would never have happened without Athene's help. Hm. It sounds like one side really has an unfair advantage.

Quote 2

He spoke, and the black cloud of sorrow closed on Laertes. In both hands he caught up the grimy dust and poured it over his face and grizzled head, groaning incessantly. The spirit rose up in Odysseus, and now in his nostrils there was a shock of bitter force as he looked on his father. He sprang to him and embraced and kissed him […]. (24.315-319)

Poor Laertes. Having a grown-up son was pretty much the only Social Security people had for, oh, most of human history—so we can understand why he's so distressed.


Quote 3

(Athene:) 'Hold back, men of Ithaka, from the wearisome fighting, so that most soon, and without blood, you can settle everything.' (24.531-532)

Oh, sure. Now that Athene's got what she wants, she's ready to stop fighting. When her precious Odysseus is the one being threatened, she suggests that maybe they should stop taking revenge on each other and start thinking about new ways to find justice.

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