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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

by Homer

Fate and Free Will Quotes Page 7

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #19

(Alkinoös:) ‘Ah now, the prophecy of old is come to completion, that my father spoke, when he said Poseidon someday would be angry with us, because we are convoy without hurt to all men. He said that one day, as a well-made ship of Phaiakian men came back from a convoy on the misty face of the water, he would stun it, and pile a great mountain on our city, to hide it.’ (13.172-177)

Alkinoös interprets this sign as a fulfillment of the prophecy his father read. Do you think the Phaiakians could have done anything to avoid their fate?

Quote #20

(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 country of Ithaka, but you shall have lordly power forever." (15.531-534)

Because obviously the gods have nothing better to do than send birds flying around to serve as omens.

Quote #21

[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 strongly killed by the hands and spear of Telemachos. (18.153-156)

Amphinomos, in a rare epiphany, realizes that what he has done as a suitor will bring death upon him. Is the fact that Homer tells us ahead of time of his death by Telemachos’s spear a nod to some form of pre-determination?

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