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The Odyssey

The Odyssey


by Homer

The Odyssey Fate and Free Will Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Book.Line)

Quote #10

(Ino:) ‘Poor man, why is Poseidon the shaker of the earth so bitterly cankered against you, to give you such a harvest of evils? And yet he will not do away with you, for all his anger. But do as I say, since you seem to me not lacking in good sense. Take off these clothes, and leave the raft to drift at the winds’ will, and then strike out and swim with your hands and make for a landfall on the Phaiakian country, where your escape is destined.’ (5.339-344)

Apparently, Odysseus’s fate is common knowledge – even among the lesser gods.

Quote #11

(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, on the wrong courses. So we have come. So it has pleased Zeus to arrange it.”’ (9.259-262)

Here Odysseus tries to win sympathy from Polyphemos, the Cyclops, by pointing out that it wasn’t his fault that he came to his shore.

Quote #12

(Odysseus:) 'Next I told the rest of the men to cast lots, to find out which of them must endure with me to take up the great beam and spin it in the Cyclops' eye when sweet sleep had come over him. The ones drew it whom I myself would have wanted chosen, four men, and I myself was the fifth, and allotted with them.' (9.331-335)

How convenient: Odysseus wants four men to draw the short straws, and those four men just so happen to draw the short straws (or whatever they're using to cast lots). It seems like fate is on Odysseus's side.

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