The Odyssey Family Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
(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 thoughtfully. Easily recognized is the line of that man, for whom Kronos' son weaves good fortune in his marrying and begetting, as now he has given to Nestor, all his days, for himself to grow old prosperously in his own palace, and also that his sons should be clever and excellent in the spear's work.' (4.204-212)
What more could a proud father ask for than sons who are good at throwing a spear? Well, if you're talking about the warlike culture of the ancient Greeks, probably not much. Today, we'd settle for a nice doctor or lawyer.
(Menelaos:) ‘[…] and sitting well in order we dashed the oars in the gray sea, back to where Egypt is, the sky-falled river, and there I stranded my ships, and there I rendered complete hecatombs. But when I had ended the anger of the gods, who are everlasting, I piled a mound for Agamemnon, so that his memory might never die. I did this, and set sail, and the immortals gave me a wind, so brought me back to my own dear country with all speed.’ (4.580-587)
Menelaos shows respect for his kin by honoring his murdered brother with a proper burial mound.
(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 for him and fear, lest something should happen to him either in the country where he has gone, or on the wide sea, for he has many who hate him and are contriving against him and striving to kill him before he comes back into his own country.' (4.817-823)
Poor Penelope. She lost her husband and now her son—it's too bad she didn't have a daughter who could stay safely inside and spin all day with her. (Except for the whole super-high risk of dying in childbirth problem.