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The Odyssey Odysseus Quotes


Quote 31

(Odysseus:) ‘O great Alkinoös, pre-eminent among all people, there is a time for many words, and a time for sleeping; but if you insists of hearing me still, I would not begrudge you the tale of these happenings and others yet more pitiful to hear, the sorrows of my companions, who perished later, who escaped the onslaught and cry of battle, but perished all for the sake of a vile woman, on the homeward journey.’ (11.378-384)

Though it causes him pain, Odysseus tells his story in order to play the role of a good guest. He repays the generous hospitality with his words.


Quote 32

(Odysseus:) "what I want and all my days I pine for is to go back to my house and see my day of homecoming. And if some god batters me far out on the wine-blue water, I will endure it, keeping a stubborn spirit inside me, for already I have suffered much and done much hard work on the waves and in the fighting. So let this adventure follow." (5.219-224)

"I will endure it, keeping a stubborn spirit inside me" isn't exactly motivational-poster-worthy, but Odysseus's attitude is still pretty inspiring. He's determined to get home, and he'll endure anything to make it happen. (Lucky for him, Poseidon is definitely willing to make "anything" happen.)


Quote 33

(Odysseus:) ‘Ah me unhappy, what in the long outcome will befall me? I fear the goddess might have spoken the truth in all ways when she said that on the sea and before I came to my country I would go through hardships; now all this is being accomplished, such clouds are these, with which Zeus is cramming the wide sky and has staggered the sea, and stormblasts of winds from every direction are crowding in. My sheer destruction is certain.’ (5.299-305)

Odysseus despairs at the first storm sent his way by Poseidon after he leaves Kalypso’s island. So much for taking suffering in stride.