© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Odyssey Proteus Quotes


Quote 1

(Proteus, in Menelaos's tale:) '"But for you, Menelaos, O fostered of Zeus, it is not the gods' will that you shall die and go to your end in horse-pasturing Argos, but the immortals will convey you to the Elysian Field, and the limits of the earth, where fair-haired Rhadamanthys is, and where there is made the easiest life for mortals, for there is no snow, nor much winter there, nor is there ever rain, but always the stream of Ocean sends up breezes of the West Wind blowing briskly for the refreshment of mortals."' (4.561-568)

Well, here's an example of fate planning something good: Odysseus isn't going to die and go to (presumably) Hades with the rest of us commoners. Instead, he's going to enjoy some immortality with the rest of the Greek heroes in the Elysian fields. Does that make his ten years of suffering any easier to deal with?


Quote 2

(Proteus, in Menelaos's tale:) '"But you should have made grand sacrifices to Zeus and the other immortal gods, and so gone on board, so most quickly to reach your own country, sailing over the wine-blue water. It is not your destiny now to see your own people and come back to your strong-founded house and to the land of your fathers, until you have gone back once again to the water of Egypt, the sky-fallen river, and there have accomplished holy hecatombs in honor of all the immortal gods who hold wide heaven. Then the gods will grant you that journey that you so long for."' (4.472-480)

Coulda, shoulda, woulda. We're pretty sure that Odysseus will do a lot of sacrificing before he steps one foot on a boat again.