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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

by Homer

Family Quotes Page 3

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

And as welcome as the show of life again in a father is to his children, when he has lain sick, suffering strong pains, and wasting long away, and the hateful death spirit has brushed him, but then, and it is welcome, the gods set him free of his sickness, so welcome appeared land and forest now to Odysseus, and he swam, pressing on, so as to set foot on the mainland. (5.394-399)

Here's another of those epic similes (see "Writing Style" for more), where some big adventure is compared to a small domestic event. Most of us won't ever know what it's like to be shipwrecked, but we can probably all imagine what it's like to have a parent recover from illness.

Quote #8

(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 a god when they see her, and speak in salutation as she walks about in her city. For there is no good intelligence that she herself lacks. She dissolves quarrels, even among men, when she favors them.’ (7.69-74)

Queen Arete is so loved by her husband that she practically has as much ruling power as he does; her favor, not the king’s, must be won by a guest for them to stay in the kingdom, and she settles legal matters with the same authority as her husband.

Quote #9

So the famous singer sang his tale, but Odysseus melted, and from under his eyes the tears ran down, drenching his cheeks. As a woman weeps, lying over the body of her dear husband, who fell fighting for her city and people as he tried to beat off the pitiless day from city and children; she sees him dying and gasping for breath, and winding her body about him she cries high and shrill, while the men behind her, hitting her with their spear butts on the back and the shoulders, force her up and lead her away into slavery, to have hard work and sorrow, and her cheeks are wracked with pitiful weeping. Such were the pitiful tears Odysseus shed from under his brows, but they went unnoticed by all the others […]. (8.521-532)

Yet another epic simile uses the familial motif to shows the depth Odysseus’s emotion.

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