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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

by Homer

Tradition and Custom Quotes Page 7

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #19

(Polyphemos, in Odysseus’s tale:) ‘“Give me still more, frely, and tell me your name straightway now, so I can give you a guest present to make you happy.”’ (9.355-356)

The Cyclops shows false hospitality towards Odysseus, promising him a lovely gift if he will tell him his name. Readers know that Polyphemos is untrustworthy and suspect a trick.

Quote #20

(Aiolos, in Odysseus’s tale:) ‘“O least of living creatures, out of this island! Hurry! I have no right to see on his way, none to give passage to any man whom the blessed gods hate with such bitterness. Out. This arrival means you are hateful to the immortals.”’ (10.72-75)

Aiolos no longer shows hospitality to Odysseus because he has squandered his gift.

Quote #21

(Odysseus:) ‘So she spoke to them, and the rest gave voice, and called her and at once she opened the shining doors, and came out, and invited them in, and all in their innocence entered; only Eurylochos waited outside, for he suspected treachery. She brought them inside and seated them on chairs and benches, and mixed them a potion, with barley and cheese and pale honey added to Pramneian wine, but put into the mixture malignant drugs, to make them forgetful of their own country. When she had given them this and they had drunk it down, next thing she struck them with her wand and drove them into her pig pens, and they took on the look of pigs, with the heads and voices and bristles of pigs, but the minds within them stayed as they had been before.’ (10.229-241)

Circe’s hospitality seems proper at first – before she changes her guests into pigs. Looks like the men should have looked this gift-horse in the mouth.

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