We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Odyssey Odysseus Quotes

Odysseus > Telemachos

Quote 40

(Odysseus:) ‘I wish that I were truly as young as I am in spirit, or a son of stately Odysseus were here, or he himself might come in from his wandering. There is time still for hope. If such things could be, another could strike my head from my shoulders if I did not come as an evil thing to all those people as I entered the palace of Odysseus, the son of Laertes. And if I, fighting alone, were subdued by all their number, then I would rather die, cut down in my own palace, than to have to go on watching forever these shameful activities, guests being battered about, or to see them rudely mishandling the serving women all about the beautiful palace, to see them drawing the wine and eating up food in this utterly reckless way, without end, forever and always at it.’ (16.99-111)

Odysseus advises Telemachos that it is more honorable to die fighting on one’s feet than to live tolerating such behavior from the suitors. Honor, then, is valued above life in the Odyssey.


Quote 41

[…] the sweet lifetime was draining out of him, as he wept for a way home, since the nymph was no longer pleasing to him. By nights he would lie beside her, of necessity, in the hollow caverns, against his will, by one who was willing, but all the days he would sit upon the rocks, at the seaside, breaking his heart in tears and lamentation and sorrow as weeping tears he looked out over the barren water. (5.152-158)

Uh-huh. At least that's what he's going to tell Penelope.


Quote 42

(Odysseus:) ‘[…] the gods brought me to the island Ogygia, where Kalypso lives, with ordered hair, a dread goddess, and she received me and loved me excessively and cared for me, and she promised to make me an immortal and all my days to be ageless, but never so could she win over the heart within me.’ (7.254-258)

Odysseus’s claim that he "never gave consent" is worth a closer look. He seems to be saying that he passively gave into Kalypso, yet never truly desired to be with her.