The Odyssey Tradition and Custom Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
(Menelaos:) ‘I would disapprove of another hospital man who was excessive in friendship, as of one excessive in hate. In all things balance is better.’ (15.69-71)
Menelaos knows that a host can be just as ill-mannered by being too friendly when such behavior is not wanted by the guest. This is more complicated than we thought.
(Helen:) ‘I too give you this gift, dear child: something to remember from Helen’s hands, for your wife to wear at the lovely occasion of your marriage. Until that time let it lie away in your palace, in your dear mother’s keeping […]. (15.125-128)
Helen shows her graciousness as a hostess by considering Telemachos’s future and family when giving her gifts.
(Telemachos:) ‘I will not willingly thrust you away from my balanced ship. Come, then, with me. There you will be entertained, from what we have left.’ (15.280-281)
Telemachos shows hospitality even to a complete stranger. This means the laws of the gods are more important than the laws of the mortals.