Illustration of Odysseus tied to a ship's mast

The Odyssey

by Homer

Start Free Trial

What were King Nestor's feelings about the Trojan War in The Odyssey?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When Telemachus asks King Nestor to tell him what became of his missing father during the Trojan war, Nestor refers to the war as a "sorrow." He then begins outlining the misfortunes the Greeks suffered during that long war. In fact, he states that if Telemachus were to remain his guest five or six years, he would eventually have to leave because he would get tired of hearing all the sorrowful tales of the war Nestor could recount. As Nestor puts it:

Nay, if for five years' space or six years' space thou wert to abide here, and ask of all the woes which the goodly Achaeans [Greeks] endured there, thou wouldest grow weary ere the end and get thee back to thy native land.

Nestor has nothing good to say about the Trojan war and communicates to his audience the very high price of the victory, calling into question if the war were worth the cost in human lives. He mentions that all of the best Greek soldiers were slain:

There lies warlike Aias, there Achilles, there Patroclus, the peer of the gods in counsel; and there my own dear son, strong alike and peerless, Antilochus, pre-eminent in speed of foot and as a warrior. Aye, and many other ills we suffered besides these; who of mortal men could tell them all?

None of what he says makes warfare sound glorious or good.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial