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The Odyssey

The Odyssey


by Homer

The Odyssey Menelaos Quotes


Quote 7

(Menelaos:) ‘I would disapprove of another hospital man who was excessive in friendship, as of one excessive in hate. In all things balance is better.’ (15.69-71)

Menelaos knows that a host can be just as ill-mannered by being too friendly when such behavior is not wanted by the guest. This is more complicated than we thought.


Quote 8

(Menelaos:) ‘[…] and Aias would have escaped his doom, though Athene hated him, had he not gone wildly mad and tossed out a word of defiance; for he said that in despite of the gods he escaped the great gulf of the sea, and Poseidon heard him, loudly vaunting, and at once with his ponderous hands catching up the trident he drove it against the Gyrean rock, and split a piece off it, and part of it stayed where it was, but a splinter crashed in the water, and this was where Aias had been perched when he raved so madly. It carried him down to the depths of the endless and tossing main sea. So Aias died, when he had swallowed down the salt water.’ (4.502-511)

Aias’s story can be seen as a warning to Odysseus not to let his own pride get out of hand, lest he anger the gods with his hubris.


Quote 9

(Menelaos:) 'Meanwhile she had dived down into the sea's great cavern and brought back the skins of four seals out of the water. All were newly skinned. She was planning a trick on her father. And hollowing out four beds in the sand of the sea, she sat there waiting for us, and we came close up to her. Thereupon she bedded us down in order, and spread a skin over each man. That was a most awful ambush, for the pernicious smell of those seals, bred in the salt water, oppressed us terribly.' (4.435-442)

Here, the daughter of Proteus (named Eidothea) is getting ready to play a trick on her dad. Notice how the women seem to be the one playing all the nasty tricks?