The Odyssey Themes Quotations

Exam board set themes with several quotes for each one



The Role of Fate and the Gods in the Odyssey 

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  • "What a lamentable thing it is that men should blame the Gods and regard us as the source of their troubles" [1. 33-34]
  • "This is how it is ordained that he shall see his friends and come to his high-roofed house and his native land once more"  [5.40-42]
  • "But if you hurt them, then I predict that your ship and your company will be destroyed"[11.112]
  • "It was their own transgression that brough them to their doom" [1.6-7]
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Relationships Between Gods and Mortals 

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  • "What a lamentable thing it is that men should blame the gods and regard us as the source of their troubles when it is their own transgressions"
  • "It is for Odysseus my heart is wrung" 
  • "Poseidon the Earth Shaker has kept Odysseus in exile, though he stops short of killing him"
  • "I myself will go to Ithaca to unstil more spirit into Odysseus's son" 
  • "In Telemachus's heart she had implanted the image of his father"
  • "You were the same when rosey fingered dawn fell in love with Orion"
  • "I will stand at your side" A to O [13.417]
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The Heroic Cose and Concepts of Honour and Revenge

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  • A to Phae's "None of the Phaecians will make as good a throw, let alone better"
  • "When we first met I thought him repulsive, but now he looks like the gods who live in heaven" Nausicaa
  • "Do not grieve at your death" O to Ach,but A says "Do not you make light of death" 
  • "But now it seems I was predestined an ignoble death" [5]
  • "Have you not heard what a name Orestes mde for huimself in the world when he killed the cunning Aegisthus for murdering his noble father" A to T [1]
  • "you ***** my maids; you courted my wife...with no more fear of the gods in heaven than of the human vengeance that might come.One and all, your fate is sealed" 
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 Guest Friendship and Xenia 

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  • "ashamed that a stranger should be kept standing at the gates" [1]
  • "we must look after him, since all strangers...come under the portection of Zeus" N [6]
  • "When you have had all the bread and wine you want you shall tell me where you are from and what your troubles are" [14]
  • "murderous intentions" - Laes 
  • "So you fleeced my household...your fate is sealed"
  • "Our fatted hog are eat by the pity in their hearts"
  • "Helped ourselves to some of the cheese"
  • "We Cyclopes care nothing for Zeus with his Aegis" 
  • "I will eat nobody last and the rest before him"
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Relationships between Men and wom

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  • "He had treated her in his home with all the respect due to a loyal wife, though for fear of his wife's displeasure he had not slept with her" 
  • "There is nothing more degraded or shameful than a woman who can contemplate and carry out deed like the hideous crime of murering the husband of her youth" [11]
  • "Never be too trustful of your wife, nor show her all that is in your mind... Not that your wife, Odysseus would ever murder you" [11]
  • "the daughter of the great hearted Alcinous" 
  • "It is only proper for you yourself when you are discussing affairs of state with important eople to have clean linen on your back. Then there are five sons of yours in the palace asking for clothes"
  • "Making decissions must be mens concern, and mine in particular, for I am master in this house" [1]
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Narrative and Descriptive Techniques 

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  • Proem - "wild recklessness which killed them" 
  • "Presently the bard struck up and lifted his fine voice in song...this was the song that the famous minstrel sang" 
  • "Dawn appeared fresh and rosey fingered" formula start
  • "resourceful Odysseus", "wine-dark sea", "Poseidon, lord of the earthquake", "heaven born son of Laertes" 
  • "They carroed them off like fished on a spear to make their loathsome meal" 
  • "I dorve my weight on it from above and bored it home like a shipwright bores his beam with a shipwright's drill...So we seixed our stake with it's fiery tip" 
  • "I swung myself up the greaet fig-tree on which I got a tight grip and clung like a bat" 
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Relationships Between Fathers and Sons

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  • "imagining how his noble father might come back out of the blue, drive the suitors headlong from the house, and so regain his royal honours" [1]
  • "If men could have anything for the asking ym first wish would be for ym father's return" [16]
  • "His loving fahter will come home and see him, and he will kiss his father. That is how things should be" [11] A to O
  • "Odysseus son of Laertes" (Note also Agamemnon and Orsetes quote earlier)
  • "You have spoken to me out of the kindness of your heart like a father talking to his son" [1]
  • "He felt all the relief a man's children feel when their father, who has been in bed wasting away with a long, painful illness...passes crisis by the gods will and the know that he will live" [5]
  • "Like a fond father welcoming back his son after nine years abroad... the apple of his eye for whoom he has sacrificed much"
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  • C to O "It shows the crafty way your mind works" 
  • O's epithets "Patient, resourceful, stalwart, heroic" 
  • "It was Odysseus who strove the hardest and achieved the most" Menelaus [4]
  • "Constant Penelope" "wise Penelope"
  • "Telemachus leapt back, leaving the long spear planted in Amphinomus' body" - mistake [22]
  • "Well away from the crowd fo suitors, for dear that his guest might take offence at the uproars, and finding himself in such ill-mannered company"
  • "They helped themselves to the good things spread before them" [1] 
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