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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

by Homer

Suffering Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

(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 #8

(Nausikaa:) ‘[…] it is Zeus himself, the Olympian, who gives people good fortune, to each single man, to the good and the bad, just as he wishes; and since he must have given you yours, you must even endure it.’ (6.188-190)

Nausikaa shows maturity beyond her age by wisely telling Odysseus he must bear all the suffering sent his way.

Quote #9

So the famous singer sang his tale, but Odysseus melted, and from under his eyes the tears ran down, drenching his cheeks. As a woman weeps, lying over the body of her dear husband, who fell fighting for her city and people as he tried to beat off the pitiless day from city and children; she sees him dying and gasping for breath, and winding her body about him she cries high and shrill, while the men behind her, hitting her with their spear butts on the back and the shoulders, force her up and lead her away into slavery, to have hard work and sorrow, and her cheeks are wracked with pitiful weeping. Such were the pitiful tears Odysseus shed from under his brows, but they went unnoticed by all the others […]. (8.521-532)

Call us crazy, but we like this: the Odyssey teaches us that it's okay for dudes to cry when they're under extreme duress. (And Odysseus is under extreme duress for, oh, about the entire epic.) Anyway, it's not like a few tears are going to detract from Odysseus's overwhelming studliness.

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