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The Odyssey Odysseus Quotes


Quote 34

(Odysseus:) ‘What will happen now, and what in the long outcome will befall me? For if I wait out the uncomfortable night by the river, I fear that the female dew and the evil frost together will be too much for my damaged strength, I am so exhausted and in the morning a chilly wind will blow from the river; but if I go up the slope and into the shadowy forest, and lie down to sleep among the dense bushes, even if the chill and weariness let me be, and a sweet sleep comes upon me, I fear I may become spoil and prey to the wild animals.’ (5.465-473)

Odysseus wavers between his fear of suffering and his determination to endure.


Quote 35

Again, the message is to endure suffering as it can not be avoided. Of course, Odysseus will just be biding his time until he can deliver some serious (and seemingly excessive) payback.

(Odysseus:) ‘There is nothing worse for mortal men than the vagrant life, but still for the sake of the cursed stomach people endure hard sorrows, when roving and pain and grief befall them.’ (15.343-345)


Quote 36

(Odysseus:) 'Three times and four times happy those Danaans were who died then in wide Troy land, bringing favor to the sons of Atreus, as I wish I too had died at that time and met my destiny on the day when the greatest number of Trojans threw their bronze-headed weapons upon me, over the body of perished Achilleus, and I would have had my rites and the Achaians given me glory. Now it is by a dismal death that I must be taken.' (5.306-312)

If you can't manage to live up to your principles, you always have the option of dying by them—that is, dying in battle like a real man.