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Quotes

Quote #16

(Eumaios:) ‘[…] any vagrant who makes his way to the land of Ithaka goes to my mistress and babbles his lies to her, and she then receives him well and entertains him and asks him everything, and as she mourns him the tears run down from her eyes, since this is the right way for a wife when her husband has perished.’ (14.126-130)

Penelope’s actions are driven by her loyalty for her husband – perhaps this loyalty is the very reason she refuses to accept the common (and, given the length of his absence, quite reasonable) belief that he is dead.

Quote #17

(Eumaios:) ‘[…] but the longing is on me for Odysseus, and he is gone from me; and even when he is not here, my friend, I feel some modesty about naming him, for in his heart he cared for me greatly and loved me. So I call him my master, though he is absent.’ (14.144-147)

Eumaios is so loyal to Odysseus that, despite the common notion that the man is dead, he still considers him lord and master.

Quote #18

Only the swineherd did not please to leave his pigs, and go to bed indoors, but made preparations as he went out; and Odysseus was happy that his livelihood was so well cared for while he was absent. (14.524-527)

Odysseus is impressed by Eumaios’s devotion to his craft – even though it is something as simple as caring for swine – because it shows a loyalty to the well-being of Odysseus’s household even during his absence.

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