The Odyssey Quotes
Quote 1: "'My word, how mortals take the gods to task!
All their afflictions come from us, we hear.
And what of their own failings? Greed and folly
double the suffering in the lot of man.
See how Aigisthos, for his double portion,
stole Agamemnon's wife and killed the soldier on his homecoming day.
And yet Aigisthos knew what doom lay in this.'" Book 1, lines 48-55
Quote 2: "what if his great father
came from the unknown world and rove these men
like dead leaves through the place?" Book 1, lines 145-7
Quote 3: "'Friend, let me put it in the plainest way.
My mother says I am his son; I know not
surely. Who has known his own engendering?
I wish at least I had some happy man
as father, going old in his house-
but unknown death and silence are the fate
of him that, since you ask, they call my father.'" Book 1, lines 258-64
Quote 4: "So said Telemakhos, though in his heart
he knew his visitor had been immortal.
But now the suitors turned to play again
with dance and haunting song. they played till nightfall
indeed black night came on them at their pleasure.
and half asleep they left, each for his home." Book 1, lines 472-7
Quote 5: "'No need to wonder any more, Sir,
who called this session. the distress is mine.'" Book 2, lines 42-43
Quote 6: "'she makes a name for herself...'" Book 2, line 133
Quote 7: "'Old man go tell the omens for your children
at home, and try to keep them out of trouble.
I am more fit to interpret this than you are.
Bird life aplenty is found in the sunny air,
not all of it is significant. As for Odysseus,
he perished far from home. You should have perished with him-'" Book 2, lines 188-193
Quote 8: "'it is so clear that no one here remembers
how like a gentle father Odysseus ruled you.'" Book 2, lines 244-5
Quote 9: "'he will tell you history and no lies.'" Book 3, line 24
Quote 10: "'Well I must say I marvel at the sight of you:
your manner of speech couldn't be more like his;
one could say No; no boy could speak so well.
And all that time at Ilion, he and I
were never at odds in council or assembly.'" Book 3, lines 131-5
Quote 11: "'Mentor, grievously though we may miss my father
why go on as if that homecoming could happen?'" Book 3, lines 258-9
Quote 12: "'don't stay too long away from home, leaving
your treasure there, and brazen suitors near;
they'll squander all you have or take it from you...'" Book 3, lines 340-6
Quote 13: "That day they made the grainlands of Laikedaimon,
where, as the horses held to a fast clip,
they kept on to their journey's end. Behind them
the sun went down and al the roads grew dark." Book 3, lines 539-42
Quote 14: "'My dear friend, can you believe you eyes?-
The murmuring hall, how luminous it is
with bronze gold, amber, silver , and ivory!
This is the way the court of Zeus must be,
inside, upon Olympos. What wonder!'" Book 4, lines 77-81
Quote 15: "'His son, in my house! How I loved the man,
And how he fought through hardship for my sake!'" Book 3, lines 181-2
Quote 16: "'If only that Odysseus met the suitors,
they'd have their consummation, a cold bed!'" Book 4, lines 371-72
Quote 17: "'Which of the immortals chained me here?'" Book 4, line 502
Quote 18: "'Before the end my heart was broken down.
I slumped on the trampled sand and cried aloud,
caring no more for life or the light of day,
and rolled there weeping, till my tears were spent.'" Book 4, lines 574-77
Quote 19: "'Why has my child left me?...
Why did he go? Must he, too, be forgotten?'" Book 4, lines 758-61
Quote 20: "'Sleepest thou sorrowing Penelope?
The gods whose life is ease no longer suffer thee
to pine and weep, then; he returns unharmed,
thy little one, no way hath he offended.'" Book 4, lines 857-60
Quote 21: "'My child, what odd complaints you let escape you.
Have you not, you yourself, arranged this matter-
as we all know- so that Odysseus
will bring these men to book, on his return?'" Book 5, lines 24-7
Quote 22: "'Oh you vile gods, in jealousy supernal
you hate it when we choose to lie with men...'" Book 5, 124-5
Quote 23: "'I long for home, long for the sight of home.
If any god has marked me out again
for shipwreck, my tough heart can undergo it.
What hardship have I not long since endured
at sea, in battle! Let the trial come.'" Book 5, 229-33
Quote 24: "'A cruel turn, this. Never had I thought
to see this land, but Zeus has let me see it...'" Book 5, lines 426-7
Quote 25: "'Go beg thy sovereign father, even at dan
to have the mule cart and mules brought round.'" Book 6, lines 41-2
Quote 26: "'Stranger, there is no quirk or evil in you
that I can see. you know Zeus metes out fortune
to good and bad men as it pleases him.
Hardship he sent to you, and you must bear it.
But now that you have taken refuge here
you shall not lack for clothing, or any other
comfort due to a poor man in distress.'" Book 6, lines 201-207
Quote 27: "'Little one, could you take me to the house
of that Alkinous, king among these people?
You see, I am a poor old stranger here;
my home is far away; here there is no one
known to me, in countryside or city.'" Book 7, lines 25-9
Quote 28: "'Friend, my child's good judgment failed in this-
not to have brought you in her company home.
Once you approached her, you became her charge.'" Book 7, lines 321-3
Quote 29: "'In time, when hunger and thirst were turned away,
the Muse brought to the minstrel's mind a song
of heroes whose great fame rang under heaven:
the clash between Odysseus and Akhilleus,
how one time they contended at the godfeast
raging, and the marshal, Agamemnon
felt inward joy over his captains' quarrel.'" Book 8, lines 78-84
Quote 30: "'O Father Zeus, O gods in bliss forever,
here is indecorous entertainment for you...'" Book 8, lines 323-4
Quote 31: "'Now shift your theme and sing that wooden horse
Epeios built, inspired by Athena...'" Book 8, lines 526-7
Quote 32: "'The wind that carried west from Ilion
brought me to Ismaros, on the far shore,
a strongpoint on the coast of the Kikones.
I stormed that place and killed the men who fought.
Plunder we took, and we enslaved the women,
to make division, equal shares to all.'" Book 9, lines 43-8
Quote 33: "'Strangers. . .who are you? and where from?
What brings you here by sea ways- a fair traffic?'" Book 9, lines 274-5
Quote 34: "'Kyklops,
you ask my honorable name? Remember
the gift you promised me, and I shall tell you.
my name is Nohbdy: mother father and friends,
everyone calls me Nohbdy.'" Book 9, lines 394 - 399
Quote 35: "'Nohbdy, Nohbdy's tricked me, Nohbdy's ruined me.'" Book 9, line 443
Quote 36: "'O Kyklops! Would you feast on my companions?
Puny, am I, in a Caveman's hands?
How do you like the beating that we gave you,
you damned cannibal? Eater of guests
under your roof! Zeus and the gods have paid you!'" Book 9, lines 519-23
Quote 37: "'Take yourself out of this island, creeping thing-
...Your voyage here was cursed by heaven!'" Book 10, lines 82-5
Quote 38: "'Odysseus then you are, o great contender,
of whom the glittering god with the golden wand
spoke to me ever, and foretold
the black swift ship would carry you from Troy.
Put up your weapon in the sheath. We two
shall mingle and make love upon our bed.
So mutual trust may come of play and love.'" Book 10, lines 371-77
Quote 39: "'Captain, shake off this trance, and think of home-
if home indeed awaits us...'" Book 10, lines 521-2
Quote 40: "'Homeward you think we must be sailing
to our own land; no elsewhere is the voyage
Kirk has laid upon me. We must go
to the cold homes of death and pale Persephone
to hear Teiresias tell of time to come.'" Book 10, lines 621-5
Quote 41: "'Stand clear, put up your sword;
let me but taste of blood. I shall speak true.'" Book 11, lines 106-7
Quote 42: "'How does he stand now in your eyes, this captain,
the look and bulk of him, the inward poise?
He is my guest, but each one shares this honor.
Be in no haste to send him on his way
or scant your bounty in his need. Remember
how rich, by heaven's will, your possessions are.'" Book 11, lines 391-6
Quote 43: "'Let me hear no smooth talk
of death from you, Odysseus, light of councils.
Better, I say, to break sod as a farm hand
for some poor country man, on iron rations,
than lord it over all the exhausted dead.'" Book 11, lines 578-81
Quote 44: "'Hearts of oak, did you go down
Alive into the homes of death? One visit
Finishes all men but yourselves, twice mortal!'" Book 12, lines 25-7
Quote 45: "'Shipmates, grieving and weary though you are,
listen: I had forewarning from Teiresias
and Kirke, too; both told me I must shun
this island of the Sun, the world's delight.
Nothing but fatal trouble shall we find here,
Pull away, then, and put the land astern.'" Book 12, lines 350-5
Quote 46: "'Live in felicity,
and make this palace lovely for your children,
your countrymen and your king.'" Book 13, lines 75-7
Quote 47: "'The present doom upon the ship - on me-
my father prophesied in the olden time.
If we gave safe conveyance to all passengers
we should incur Poseidon's wrath, he said,
whereby one day a fair ship, manned by Phaiakians,
would come to grief at the god's hands;'" Book 13, lines 215-220
Quote 48: "'Son of Laertes and the gods of old,
Odysseus, master of land ways and sea ways,
put your mind on a way to reach and strike
a crowd of brazen upstarts. Three long years
they have played master in your house: three years
trying to win your lovely lady, making
gifts as though betrothed.'" Book 13, lines 468-73
Quote 49: "'There is your dinner friend, the pork of the slaves.
Our fat shoats are eaten by the suitors,
cold-heated men, who never spare a thought
for how they stand in the sight of Zeus. The gods
living in bliss are fond of no wrongdoing,
but honor discipline and right behavior.'" Book 14, lines 97-103
Quote 50: "'[A Phoenician adventurer] took me in completely with his schemes,
and led me with him to Phoinikia...
he meant in fact, to trade me off, and get
a high price for me.'" Book 14, lines 337-47
Quote 51: "'It is still night,
and no moon. Can we drive now? We can not,
itch as we may for the road home. Dawn is near;
allow the captain of the spearmen, Menelaos,
time to pack our car with gifts and time
to speak a gracious word, sending us off.
A guest remembers all of his days
that host who makes provisions for him kindly.'" Book 15, lines 68-75
Quote 52: "'At daybreak I must go and try my luck
around the port. I burden you too long.
Direct me, put me on the road with someone.
Nothing else for it but to play the beggar.'" Book 15, lines 381-4
Quote 53: "'Go down at once and tell the lady Penelope
that I am back from Pylos safe and sound.'" Book 16, lines 151-2
Quote 54: "'Son of Laertes and the gods of old,
Odysseus, master of land ways and sea ways,
dissemble to your son no longer now.
the time has come: tell him how you together
will bring doom on the suitors in the town.'" Book 16, lines 195-9
Quote 55: "'Friends, face up to it;
that young pup Telemakhos, has done it;
he made the round trip, though we said he could not.
Well- now to get the best craft we can find
afloat, with oarsmen who can drench her bows,
and tell those on the island to come home.'" Book 16, lines 415-20
Quote 56: "'Back with me!
Telemakhos, more sweet to me than sunlight!
I thought I should not see you again, ever,
after you took the ship that night to Pylos-
against my will, with not a word! You went
for news of your dear father. Tell me now
of everything you saw!'" Book 17, lines 51-7
Quote 57: "'Here comes one scurvy type leading another!
God pairs them off together, every time.
Swineherd, where are you taking your new pig,
that stinking beggar there, licker of pots?
How many doorposts has he rubbed his back on
whining for garbage, where a noble guest
would rate a cauldron or a sword.'" Book 17, lines 278-84
Quote 58: "'here is the beautiful place- who could mistake it?
here is Odysseus' hall: no hall like this!'" Book 17, lines 340-1
Quote 59: "'A pity you have more looks than heart.
You'd grudge a pinch of salt from your own larder
to your own handy man. you sit here, fat
on others' meat, and cannot bring yourself
to rummage out a crust of bread for me!'" Book 17, lines 594-9
Quote 60: "'Listen to him! the swine can talk your arm off,
Like an old oven woman! With two punches
I'd knock him snoring...'" Book 18, lines 30-2
Quote 61: "'Friend, you have a mind to work,
do you? Could I hire you to clear stones
from wasteland for me- you'll be paid enough-
collecting boundary walls and planting trees?
I'll give you a bread ration every day,
a cloak to wrap in, sandals for your feet.
Oh no: you learned your dodges long ago-
no honest sweat. You'd rather tramp the country
begging, to keep your hoggish belly full.' Book 18, lines 443-51
Quote 62: "'have no strength left to evade a marriage
cannot find any further way; my parents
urge it upon me, and my son
will not stand by while they eat up his property.
He comprehends it, being a man full grown,
able to oversee the kind of house
Zeus would endow with honor.' Book 19, lines 184-90
Quote 63: "'Yes!
You are Odysseus! Ah, dear child! I could not
see you until now- not till I knew
my master's body with my hands!' Book 19, lines 549-52
Quote 64: "'Herdsman, I make you out to be no coward
and no fool: I can see that for myself.
So let me tell you this. I swear by Zeus
al highest, by the table set for friends,
and by your king's hearthstone to which I've come,
Odysseus will return. You'll be on hand
to see, if you care to see it,
how those who lord it here will be cut down.'" Book 20, lines 250-7
Quote 65: "'Here is my lord Odysseus' hunting bow.
Bend and string it if you can. Who sends an arrow
through iron axe-helve sockets twelve in line?
I join my life with his and leave this place, my home,
my rich and beautiful bridal house, forever
to be remembered, though I dream it only.'" Book 21, lines 78-83
Quote 66: "'Mother as to the bow and who may handle it
or not handle it, no man here
has more authority than I do- not the lord
or our own stony Ithaka nor the islands lying
east towards Elis; no one stops me if I choose
to give these weapons outright to my guest.'" Book 21,lines 388-393
Quote 67: "Think of a catch that fishermen haul in to a halfmoon bay
in a fine-meshed net from the whit-caps of the sea:
how all are poured out on the sand, in throes for the salt- sea,
twitching their cold lives away in Helios' fiery air:
so lay the suitors heaped on one another." Book 22, lines 432-6
Quote 68: "'I did not see it,
I knew nothing; only I heard the groans
of men dying. We sat still in the inner rooms
holding our breath, and marveling, shut in,
until Telemakhos came to the door and called me-
your own dear son, sent this time by his father!'" Book 23, lines 41-6
Quote 69: "'The royal pair mingled in love again
and afterward lay reveling in stories:
hers of the siege her beauty stood at home
from arrogant suitors, crowding on her sight,
and how they fed their courtships on his cattle
oxen and fat sheep, and drank up rivers
of wine out of the vats. Odysseus told
of what hard blows he had dealt to others
and of what blows he had taken-all that story.'" Book 23, lines 337-46
Quote 70: "'So the great soldier
took his bow and bent it for the bowstring
effortlessly. He drilled the axeheads clean,
sprang, and decanted arrows on the door sill,
glared, and drew again. This time he killed
Antinous.'" Book 24, lines 196-201
Quote 71: "'Old man, the orchard keeper
you work for is no townsman. A good eye
for growing things he has: there's not a nurseling,
fig tree, vine stock, olive tree, or pear tree
or garden bed uncared for on this farm.
But I might add- don't take offense- your on
appearance could br tidier. Old age
yes- but why the squalor, and rags to boot?'" Book 24, lines 270-7
Quote 72: "'Now hear me, men of Ithaka.
When these hard deeds were done by Lord Odysseus
the immortal gods were not far off. I saw
with my own eyes someone divine who fought
beside him, in the shape and dress of Mentor;
it was a god who shone before Odysseus,
a god who swept the suitors down the hall
dying in droves.'" Book 24, lines 489-96
Quote 73: "'Son of Laertes and the gods of old,
Odysseus, master of land ways and sea ways,
command yourself. Call off this battle now,
or Zeus who views the wide world may be angry.'" Book 24, lines 605-609