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The Odyssey Piety Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Book.Line)

Quote #10

(Polyphemos, in Odysseus's tale:) '"Stranger, you are a simple fool, or come from far off, when you tell me to avoid the wrath of the gods or fear them. The Cyclopes do not concern themselves over Zeus of the aegis, nor any of the rest of the blessed gods, since we are far better than they […]."' (9.273-287)

Not all divinities live on Mount Olympus. You have to be careful in The Odyssey, because there's always that chance that you're inadvertently ticking off some immortal with powerful connections—like a close family tie to the god of the sea.

Quote #11

(Odysseus:) '[…] for me alone my strong-greaved companions excepted the ram when the sheep were sheared, and I sacrificed him on the sands to Zeus, dark-clouded son of Kronos, lord over all, and burned him the thighs; but he was not moved by my offerings, but still was pondering on a way how all my strong-benched ships should be destroyed and all my eager companions.' (9.550-555)

We have to ask: how do you know that a god isn't moved by your offering? And if he's not, do you get to eat it yourself?

Quote #12

(Teiresias, in Odysseus’s tale:) ‘“But after you have killed these suitors in your palace, either by treachery, or openly with the sharp bronze, then you must take up your well-shaped oar and go on a journey until you come where there are men living who know nothing of the sea, and who eat food that is not mixed with salt, who never have known ships whose cheeks are painted purple, who never have known-well-shaped oars, which act for ships as wings do. And I will tell you a very clear proof, and you cannot miss it. When, as you walk, some other wayfarer happens to meet you, and says you carry a winnow-fan on your bright shoulder, then you must plant your well-shaped oar in the ground, and render ceremonious sacrifice to the lord Poseidon, one ram and one bull, and a mounter of sows, a boar pig, and make your way home again and render holy hecatombs to the immortal gods who hold the wide heaven, all of them in order. Death will come to you from the sea, in some altogether unwarlike way, and it will end you in the ebbing time of a sleek old age. Your people about you will be prosperous. All this is true that I tell you.”’ (11.119-137)

Here, Teiresias tells Odysseus about his ultimate fate – which will happen after the end of the Odyssey. How does this knowledge of Odysseus’s eventual death affect the mood at the end of the poem?

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