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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

by Homer

Suffering Quotes Page 7

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #19

(Odysseus:) "There is nothing worse for mortal men than the vagrant life, but still for the sake of the cursed stomach people endure hard sorrows, when roving and pain and grief befall them." (15.343-345)

Roaming around may cause suffering, but there's a part of Odysseus (the "cursed stomach") that seems to like it—as though he just can't keep himself from heading off looking for new lands and peoples.

Quote #20

(Eumaios:) "All too much with enduring heart she does wait for him there in your own palace, and always with her the wretched nights and the days also waste her away with weeping." (16.37-39)

Penelope may be "enduring," but she's not suffering silently. In fact, we're surprised the suitors have hung around so long.

Quote #21

(Eumaios:) "Shall I on the same errand go with the news to wretched Laertes, who while he so greatly grieved for Odysseus yet would look after his farm and with the thralls in his household would eat and drink, whenever the spirit was urgent with him; but now, since you went away in the ship to Pylos, they say he has not eaten in this way, nor drunk anything, nor looked to his farm, but always in lamentation and mourning sits grieving, and the flesh on his bones is wasting from him." (16.137-145)

Seriously, is anyone happy in this story? Laertes is so bummed that Odysseus is missing that he can't even get out of bed. (At least Penelope kept it together enough to weave him a shroud.)

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