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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

by Homer

The Odyssey Helios Quotes

Quote #1

(Helios, in Odysseus's tale:) '"Father Zeus, and you other everlasting and blessed gods, punish the companions of Odysseus, son of Laertes; for they outrageously killed my cattle, in whom I always delighted, on my way up into the starry heaven, or when I turned back again from heaven toward earth. Unless these are made to give me just recompense for my cattle, I will go down to Hades' and give my light to dead men."' (12.377-383)

Okay, notice Helios's words "just recompense." We're used to a system of justice where "recompense" means either a fine or a sometime behind bars. But Helios is working from a more eye-for-an-eye sense of justice: they killed my cattle, and now I want them dead.

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