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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

by Homer

Loyalty Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #10

(Odysseus:) ‘Nevertheless we sailed on, night and day, for nine days, and on the tenth at last appeared the land of our fathers, and we could see people tending fires, we were very close to them. But then the sweet sleep came upon me, for I was worn out with always handling the sheet myself, and I could not give it to any other companion, so we could come home quicker to our own country; but my companions talked with each other and said that I was bringing silver and gold home with me, given me by great-hearted Aiolos, son of Hippotas; […] and the evil counsel of my companions prevailed, and they opened the bag and the winds all burst out.’ (10.28-36, 46-47)

The Ithakans allow curiosity to trump their loyalty to their master Odysseus.

Quote #11

(Odysseus, in his tale:) '"Oh, Circe, how could any man in his right mind ever endure to taste of the food and drink that are set before him, until with his eyes he saw his companions set free? So then, if you are sincerely telling me to eat and drink, set them free, so my eyes can again behold my eager companions."' (10.383-387)

Aw, Odysseus is a really good friend—if you ignore the fact that he got his men into all this trouble in the first place by showing off in front of Polyphemos.

Quote #12

(Odysseus:) ‘But first there came the soul of my companion, Elpenor, for he had not yet been buried under earth of the wide ways, since we had left his body behind in Circe’s palace, unburied and unwept, with this other errand before us. I broke into tears at the sight of him, and my heart pitied him […].’(11.51-56)

Oops. Odysseus loses major loyalty points for not noticing that he was missing one of his crewmen. (Seriously, the buddy system? It might have come in handy.)

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