From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
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

The Odyssey

  

by Homer

The Odyssey Odysseus Quotes

Odysseus

Quote 1

(Odysseus, in his tale:) “We are Achaians coming from Troy, beaten off our true course by winds from every direction across the great gulf of the open sea, making for home, by the wrong way, on the wrong courses. So we have come. So it has pleased Zeus to arrange it.”’ (9.259-262)

Here Odysseus tries to win sympathy from Polyphemos, the Cyclops, by pointing out that it wasn’t his fault that he came to his shore.

Odysseus

Quote 2

(Odysseus:) 'Next I told the rest of the men to cast lots, to find out which of them must endure with me to take up the great beam and spin it in the Cyclops' eye when sweet sleep had come over him. The ones drew it whom I myself would have wanted chosen, four men, and I myself was the fifth, and allotted with them.' (9.331-335)

How convenient: Odysseus wants four men to draw the short straws, and those four men just so happen to draw the short straws (or whatever they're using to cast lots). It seems like fate is on Odysseus's side.

Odysseus

Quote 3

(Odysseus, in his tale:) ‘“Aias, son of stately Telamon, could you then never even in death forget your anger against me, because of that cursed armor? The gods made it to pain the Achaians, so great a bulwark were you, who were lost to them. We Achaians grieved for your death as incessantly as for Achilleus the son of Peleus at his death, and there is no other to blame, but Zeus; he, in his terrible hate for the army of the Danaan spearmen, visited this destruction upon you.”’ (11.553-560)

Odysseus tries to reclaim Aias’s friendship by reminding him that his death was purely ill-starred and no fault of his. He blames Zeus, and not Aias, for taking his life and reminds his friend that one cannot always control his own fate.

Advertisement