The Odyssey
The Odyssey
by Homer

The Odyssey Character Quotes

Odysseus

(Odysseus, in his tale:) “We are Achaians coming from Troy, beaten off our true course by winds from every direction across the great gulf of the open sea, making for home, by the wrong way,...

Telemachos

(Telemachos:) ‘My guest, since indeed you are asking me all these questions, there was a time this house was one that might be prosperous and above reproach, when a certain man was here in hi...

Penelope

(Penelope:) '[…] and now again a beloved son is gone on a hollow ship, an innocent all unversed in fighting and speaking, and it is for him I grieve even more than for that other one, and tremble...

Athene

(Athene, disguised as the little girl:) ‘So she was held high in the heart and still she is so, by her beloved children, by Alkinoös himself, and by the people, who look toward her as to...

Eumaios

(Eumaios:) ‘You too, old man of many sorrows, since the spirit brought you here to me, do not try to please me nor spell me with lying words. It is not for that I will entertain and befriend...

Eurylochos

Circe is referring here to the monster Skylla, but you can really apply her words to all forms of suffering. Pain, she tells Odysseus, is unavoidable.

Nestor

(Nestor:) 'The will of the everlasting gods is not turned suddenly.' (3.147)

Amphinomos

[Amphinomos] went back across the room, heart saddened within him, shaking his head, for in his spirit he saw the evil, but still could not escape his doom, for Athene had bound him fast, to be str...

Eurymachos

(Eurymachos:) ‘[…] in any case we fear no one, and surely not Telemachos, for all he is so eloquent. Nor do we care for any prophecy, which you, old sir, may tell us, which will not hap...

Agamemnon

(Agamemnon, in Odysseus’s tale:) ‘[…] most pitiful was the voice I heard of Priam’s daughter Kassandra, killed by treacherous Klytaimestra over me; but I lifted my hands and...

Alkinoös

(Alkinoös:) ‘Now, having feasted, go home and take your rest, and tomorrow at dawn we shall call the elders in, in greater numbers, and entertain the guest in our halls, and to the immor...

Laodamas

(Laodamas:) ‘Come you also now, father stranger, and try these contests, if you have skill in any. It beseems you to know athletics, for there is no greater glory that can befall a man living...

Nausikaa

(Nausikaa:) ‘A while ago he seemed an unpromising man to me. Now he even resembles one of the gods, who hold high heaven. If only the man to be called my husband could be like this one, a man...

Helen

(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...

Menelaos

(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 thoughtf...

Polyphemos

(Polyphemos, in Odysseus’s tale:) ‘“Hear me, Poseidon who circle the earth, dark-haired. If truly I am your son, and you acknowledge yourself as my father, grant that Odysseus, sa...

Proteus

(Proteus, in Menelaos's tale:) '"But for you, Menelaos, O fostered of Zeus, it is not the gods' will that you shall die and go to your end in horse-pasturing Argos, but the immortals will convey yo...

Teiresias

(Teiresias, in Odysseus's tale:) '"Glorious Odysseus, what you are after is sweet homecoming, but the god will make it hard for you. I think you will not escape Shaker of the Earth, who holds a gru...

Aiolos

(Aiolos, in Odysseus’s tale:) ‘“O least of living creatures, out of this island! Hurry! I have no right to see on his way, none to give passage to any man whom the blessed gods ha...

Circe

(Circe, in Odysseus’s tale:) ‘“Son of Laertes and seed of Zeus, resourceful Odysseus, you shall no longer stay in my house when none of you wish to; but first there is another jou...

Helios

(Helios, in Odysseus's tale:) '"Father Zeus, and you other everlasting and blessed gods, punish the companions of Odysseus, son of Laertes; for they outrageously killed my cattle, in whom I always...

Hephaistos

[Hephaistos, in Demodokos' tale:] '"Father Zeus and all you other blessed immortal gods, come here, to see a ridiculous sight, no seemly matter, how Aphrodite daughter of Zeus forever holds me in l...

Kalypso

(Kalypso:) 'Earth be my witness in this, and the wide heaven above us, and the dripping water of the Styx, which oath is the biggest and most formidable oat among the blessed immortals, that this i...

Peisistratos

(Peisistratos:) 'My guest, make your prayer now to the lord Poseidon, for his is the festival you have come to on your arrival; but when you have poured to him and prayed, according to custom, then...

Theoklymenos

(Theoklymenos:) "Telemachos, not without a god's will did this bird fly past you on the right, for I knew when I saw it that it was a portent. No other family shall be kinglier than yours in the co...

Elpenor

(Elpenor, in Odysseus’s tale:) ‘“Son of Laertes and seed of Zeus, resourceful Odysseus, the evil will of the spirit and the wild wine bewildered me. I lay down on the roof of Circ...

Laertes

Laertes also rejoiced, and said to them: ‘What day is this for me, dear gods? I am very happy. My son and my son’s son are contending over their courage.’ (24.513-515)

Halitherses

(Halitherses): 'I who foretell this am not untried, I know what I am saying. Concerning him, I say that everything was accomplished in the way I said it would be at the time the Argives took ship f...

Mentor

(Mentor:) ‘Now it is not so much the proud suitors I resent for doing their violent acts by their minds’ evil devising; for they lay their hands on the line when violently they eat up t...

Eurykleia

So he spoke and the dear nurse Eurykleia cried out, and bitterly lamenting she addressed him in winged words: ‘Why, my beloved child, has this intention come into your mind? Why do you wish t...

Melanthios

[Melanthios] recklessly lashed out with his heel to the hip, but failed to knock him out of the pathway, for Odysseus stood it, unshaken, while he pondered within him whether to go for him with his...

Phemios

(Phemios:) ‘I am at your knees, Odysseus. Respect me, have mercy. You will be sorry in time to come if you kill the singer of songs. I sing to the gods and to human people, and I am taught by...