The Odyssey

what does Nestor mean when he ask Telemachus if the people side with the suitors as a result of some oracle ? What does this reveal about the culture's view on the idea of divine fate?

Book 3 the Odysses

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"My friend," said Nestor, "now that you remind me, I remember to have heard that your mother has many suitors, who are ill disposed towards you and are making havoc of your estate. Do you submit to this tamely, or are public feeling and the voice of heaven against you? Who knows but what Ulysses may come back after all, and pay these scoundrels in full, either single-handed or with a force of Achaeans behind him? If Minerva were to take as great a liking to you as she did to Ulysses when we were fighting before Troy (for I never yet saw the gods so openly fond of any one as Minerva then was of your father), if she would take as good care of you as she did of him, these wooers would soon some of them him, forget their wooing."

Nestor questions Telemachus as to his mother's suitors. These men are obviously encroaching on Telemachus' territory. What Nestor inquires is whether or not Telemachus plans to stop the suitors or simply let them do whatever they desire because it is the will of the gods and publicly favored by the people; he replies, "I can expect nothing of the kind; it would be far too much to hope for. I dare not let myself think of it. Even though the gods themselves willed it no such good fortune could befall me." Thus, Telemachus sees the gods as being against him.


The Odyssey/ Book 3