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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

(Telemachos:) 'For my mother, against her will, is beset by suitors, own sons to the men who are greatest hereabouts. These shrink from making the journey to the house of her father Ikarios, so that he might take bride gifts for his daughter and bestow her on the one he wished, who came as his favorite; rather, all their days, they come and loiter in our house and sacrifice our oxen and our sheep and our fat goats and make a holiday feast of it and drink the bright wine recklessly. Most of our substance is wasted.' (2.50-58)

The problem isn't just that the suitors aren't eating up all of Odysseus's goats; it's also that they haven't done the right thing by approaching Penelope's dad. They're totally ignoring the proper family structure—just one more reason they're in for a bloody demise.

Quote #2

They came into the cavernous hollow of Lakedaimon and made their way to the house of glorious Menelaos. They found him in his own house giving, for many townsmen, a wedding feast for his son and his stately daughter. The girl he was sending to the son of Achilleus, breaker of battalions, for in Troy land first he had nodded his head to it and promised to give her, and now the gods were bringing to pass their marriage; so he was sending her on her way, with horses and chariots, to the famous city of the Myrmidons, where Neoptolemos was lord, and he brought Alektor's daughter from Sparta, to give powerful Megapenthes, his young grown son born to him by a slave woman; but the gods gave no more children to Helen once she had borned her first and only child, the lovely Hermione, with the beauty of Aphrodite the golden. (4.1-14)

We meet Menelaos as a family man—someone who's making sure to do the right thing by his kids (with the god's help). He and Nestor make us realize how much Telemachos is missing out on by not having an involved dad around. Who's going to choose his bride?

Quote #3

(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 this man has a likeness to the son of great-hearted Odysseus, Telemachos, who was left behind in the house, a young child by that man when, for the sake of shameless me, the Achaians went beneath Troy, their hearts intent upon reckless warfare.’ (4.140-146)

Telemachos has the handsome appearance of his renowned father, but more importantly has inherited Odysseus’s character.

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