In Hades, Odysseus displays for the first time the tender love he feels for his mother, Anticleia. He wants to greet her as soon as he sees her, even though he has to first speak to Tiresias. When he sees her, he remembers that the last time he laid eyes on her, before he left for Troy, she was still alive. Viewing her in Hades, he says:
I wept, and I felt pity in my heart.
Later, although he tries three times, he is unable to hold her in his arms because she has become a shadow. He says:
The pain inside my heart grew even sharper.
Odysseus is also sobered by his encounter with dead. He hears Achilles, who chose an early death with glory rather than a long and quiet life, wish now he were an obscure farmer and still alive. Odysseus watches Sisyphus endlessly struggle to push a rock up a hill. He also learns from Tiresias the prophecy that he will return to Ithaca, but have to battle suitors for his wife.
Back from the underworld Odysseus shows more appreciation for being alive than he had before because he has seen the sadness of the shades. He also shows more resolution than he had before about achieving his goal of returning to his homeland to be reunited with Penelope and his son.