The Odyssey by Homer

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What are good quotes from the Odyssey about the negative effects of temptation, recklessness and hubris 

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jmsailer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I have set these quotes under headings, but many of them could be put under more than one heading.

Temptation: "Fools, they foiled / themselves: they ate the oxen of the Sun, / the herd of Helios Hyperion; / the lord of light requited their transgression-- / he took away the day of their return." (I. 9-13)

"Men are so quick to blame the gods: they say / that we devise their misery.  But they / themselves--in their depravity--design / grief greater than the griefs that fate assigns. / So did Aegisthus act when he transgressed / the boundaries that fate and reason set." (I.33-38)

Recklessness: "Of all the things that move and breathe on earth / earth nurtures nothing frailer than a man. / As long as gods bestow prosperity / and he can move about with agile knees, / he thinks the future holds no misery. / But when, against his will, the blessed gods / allot his share of griefs, he yields to these / with patient heart. And so indeed it shifts-- / the mind of man on earth." (XVIII.131-37)

"But I ignored their counsel, though that course / would have avoided many griefs for us. / Instead I had to wait to see that man, / to find out if he'd welcome me. But then / the courtesy he showed my friends was scant." (IX.229-33)

Hubris: "I, too, might once have ruled, / but stupidly beguiled by power and pride, / misused my strength--I acted wantonly; / I trusted in my father and my brothers. / Thus, let no man--and at no time--be lawless; / whatever gifts the gods have given him / let him guard these in silence." (XVIII.139-45)

"You had no fear of the undying gods, / whose home is spacious heaven, and no fear / of men's revenge, your fate in days to come./ Now all of you are trapped in death's tight thongs." ( XXII.40-43)

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