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The Odyssey Telemachos Quotes


Quote 1

(Telemachos:) ‘My guest, since indeed you are asking me all these questions, there was a time this house was one that might be prosperous and above reproach, when a certain man was here in his country.’ (1.231-233)

Telemachos considers his bad luck the work of the gods. He feels that the gods who favored them so have vanished along with Odysseus. Being abandoned by the gods is, to the ancient Greeks, akin to being cursed.


Quote 2

(Telemachos:) ‘We went to Pylos, and to Nestor, shepherd of the people, and he, in his high house, gave me hospitality, and loving free attention, as a father would to his own beloved son, who was newly arrived from a long voyage elsewhere. So he freely took care of me, with his own glorious children.’ (17.109-113)

Telemachos himself is treated as family when in fact he is only a guest.


Quote 3

(Telemachos:) 'For my mother, against her will, is beset by suitors, own sons to the men who are greatest hereabouts. These shrink from making the journey to the house of her father Ikarios, so that he might take bride gifts for his daughter and bestow her on the one he wished, who came as his favorite; rather, all their days, they come and loiter in our house and sacrifice our oxen and our sheep and our fat goats and make a holiday feast of it and drink the bright wine recklessly. Most of our substance is wasted.' (2.50-58)

The problem isn't just that the suitors aren't eating up all of Odysseus's goats; it's also that they haven't done the right thing by approaching Penelope's dad. They're totally ignoring the proper family structure—just one more reason they're in for a bloody demise.