Literary Notes - The Odyssey

Page numbers correspond to the Barnes & Noble Classics Series version. Direct quotes are in quotations, while paraphrases are not.


“Men lay blame upon us gods for what is after all nothing but their own folly.” (Pg. 2)

Homer very often describes things in simile, metaphor, with color and with emotion, but he very rarely describes the actual appearance of things in detail. (Pgs. 34-35)

“I am quite aware that my wife Penelope is nothing like so tall or so beautiful as yourself. She is only a woman, whereas you are an immortal. Nevertheless, I want to get home, and can think of nothing else.” (Pg. 56)

People of status and even powerful rulers frequently pay attention and give the utmost respect to servants and commoners, rather than ignoring them for their low positions. (Pgs. 74-75)

“Moderation is best in all things, and not letting a man go when he wants to do so is as bad as telling him to go if he would like to stay.” (Pg. 168)


“You are like some blameless king, who upholds righteousness, as the monarch over a great and valiant nation. The earth yields its wheat and barley, the trees are loaded with fruit, the ewes bring forth lambs, and the sea abounds with fish by reason of his virtues, and his people do good deeds under him.” The point is that this is what the Mycenean Greeks thought was the perfect state; prosperity in nature and morality in man. (Pgs. 217-218)