The Odyssey Loyalty Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Book.Line)
(Eumaios:) ‘From the heart she [Penelope] loved me dearly. Now I go lacking all these things, but the blessed immortals prosper all the work that I myself do abiding here, whence I eat and drink and give to people I honor; but there is no sweet occasion now to hear from my mistress in word or fact, since the evil has fallen upon our household […].’ (15.370-375)
Many of the servants in Odysseus’s house hold a familial loyalty for the royal family.
He came up to meet his master, and kissed his head, and kissed too his beautiful shining eyes, and both his hands, and the swelling tear fell from him. And as a father, with heart full of love, welcomes his only and grown son, for whose sake he has undergone many hardships when he comes back in the tenth year from a distant country, so now the noble swineherd, clinging fast to godlike Telemachos, kissed him even as if he had escaped dying […].' (16.14-21)
Let's throw a little old-school analogies at you. Eumaios : servants :: Odysseus : men. He's so loyal to his presumably dead master that he thinks of the boy as his own son.
There the dog Argos lay in the dung, all covered with dog ticks. Now, as he perceived that Odysseus had come close to him, he wagged his tail, and laid both his ears back; only he now no longer had the strength to move any closer to his master, who, watching him from a distance, without Eumaios noticing, secretly wiped a tear away […]. (17.300-305)
Odysseus's poor, tick-infested dog recognizes his long-lost master and feebly thumps his tail. Okay, it's not a 15-million-views-and-counting video on YouTube—but it still brings a tear to our eye.