The Odyssey Telemachos Quotes Page 3
(Telemachos:) ‘Eurymachos, there is no more hope of my father’s homecoming. I believe no messages any more, even should there be one, nor pay attention to any prophecy, those times my mother calls some diviner into the house and asks him questions.’ (1.413-416)
Athene has just told Telemachos that his father is still alive, but the Prince chooses to deceive the suitors to keep him and his mother safe; it seems he fears a riot or coup if the men all knew the truth.
(Telemachos:) ‘Do not fear, nurse. This plan was not made without a god’s will. But swear to tell my beloved mother nothing about this until the eleventh day has come or the twelfth hereafter, or until she misses me herself or hears I am absent, so that she may not ruin her lovely skin with weeping.’ (2.372-376)
Telemachos’s deception extends even to his own mother.
(Telemachos:) ‘Suddenly you have changed, my friend, from what you were formerly; your skin is no longer as it was, you have other clothing. Surely you are one of those gods who hold the high heaven. Be gracious, then: so we shall give you favored offerings and golden gifts that have been well wrought. Only be merciful.’ (16.181-185)
Interestingly, Telemachos finds it more believable that Odysseus is a god than that his father has finally returned home.