The Odyssey Loyalty Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
[Hephaistos, in Demodokos' tale:] '"Father Zeus and all you other blessed immortal gods, come here, to see a ridiculous sight, no seemly matter, how Aphrodite daughter of Zeus forever holds me in little favor, but she loves ruinous Ares because he is handsome, and goes sound on his feet, while I am misshapen from birth, and for this I hold no other responsible but my own father and mother, and I wish they never had got me."' (8.306-312)
We're not sure why the gods expect humans to be loyal when they're obviously not too good at it themselves—talk about making (wo)man in their own image.
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 […]. (8.521-532)
This is a truly epic epic simile (see "Writing Style" for more about that), but notice that even here Homer beats us over the head with how important it is for men to have loyal wives.
(Odysseus:) 'My men went on and presently met the Lotus-Eaters, nor did these Lotus-Eaters have any thoughts of destroying our companions, but they only gave them lotus to taste of. But any of them who ate the honey-sweet fruit of lotus was unwilling to take any message back, or to go away, but they wanted to stay there with the lotus-eating people, feeding on lotus, and forget the way home.' (9.91-97)
Put another way, the fruit of the lotus turns people disloyal by making them forget their homes. See? Drugs really do destroy families.