The Iliad Quotes

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…There is the heat of Love, the pulsing rush of Longing, the lover’s whisper, irresistible—magic to make the sanest man go mad.

675

Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.

517

Let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter.

254

Any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.

253

Like the generations of leaves, the lives of mortal men. Now the wind scatters the old leaves across the earth, now the living timber bursts with the new buds and spring comes round again. And so with men: as one generation comes to life, another dies away.

194

We men are wretched things.

183

Sing, O muse, of the rage of Achilles, son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans.

168

Why so much grief for me? No man will hurl me down to Death, against my fate. And fate? No one alive has ever escaped it, neither brave man nor coward, I tell you - it’s born with us the day that we are born.

152

Achilles glared at him and answered, "Fool, prate not to me about covenants. There can be no covenants between men and lions, wolves and lambs can never be of one mind, but hate each other out and out an through. Therefore there can be no understanding between you and me, nor may there be any covenants between us, till one or other shall fall

133

No one can hurry me down to Hades before my time, but if a man's hour is come, be he brave or be he coward, there is no escape for him when he has once been born.

102

...like that star of the waning summer who beyond all stars rises bathed in the ocean stream to glitter in brilliance.

96

Everything is more beautiful because we are doomed. You will never be more lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.

91

No man or woman born, coward or brave, can shun his destiny.

90

His descent was like nightfall.

67

There is nothing alive more agonized than man / of all that breathe and crawl across the earth.

57

Beauty! Terrible Beauty! A deathless Goddess-- so she strikes our eyes!

48

And overpowered by memoryBoth men gave way to grief. Priam wept freelyFor man - killing Hector, throbbing, crouchingBefore Achilles' feet as Achilles wept himself,Now for his father, now for Patroclus once againAnd their sobbing rose and fell throughout the house.

47

Without a sign, his sword the brave man draws, and asks no omen, but his country's cause.

45

Why have you come to me here, dear heart, with all these instructions? I promise you I will do everything just as you ask. But come closer. Let us give in to grief, however briefly, in each other's arms.

39

The roaring seas and many a dark range of mountains lie between us.

37

…but there they lay, sprawled across the field, craved far more by the vultures than by wives.

33

Ruin, eldest daughter of Zeus, she blinds us all, that fatal madness—she with those delicate feet of hers, never touching the earth, gliding over the heads of men to trap us all. She entangles one man, now another.

33

You, you insolent brazen bitch—you really dare to shake that monstrous spear in Father’s face?

31

You, why are you so afraid of war and slaughter? Even if all the rest of us drop and die around you, grappling for the ships, you’d run no risk of death: you lack the heart to last it out in combat—coward!

28

Generations of men are like the leaves.In winter, winds blow them down to earth,but then, when spring season comes again,the budding wood grows more. And so with men:one generation grows, another dies away.

27

Is he not sacred, even to the gods, the wandering man who comes in weariness?

22

Nay if even in the house of Hades the dead forget their dead, yet will I even there be mindful of my dear comrade.

19

Antilochus! You're the most appalling driver in the world! Go to hell!

18

Be strong, saith my heart; I am a soldier;I have seen worse sights than this.

16

I wish that strife would vanish away from among gods and mortals, and gall, which makes a man grow angry for all his great mind, that gall of anger that swarms like smoke inside of a man's heart and becomes a thing sweeter to him by far than the dripping of honey.

15

And fate? No one alive has ever escaped it, neither brave man nor coward, I tell you— it’s born with us the day that we are born.

15

Let him submit to me! Only the god of death is so relentless, Death submits to no one—so mortals hate him most of all the gods. Let him bow down to me! I am the greater king, I am the elder-born, I claim—the greater man.

14

Like a girl, a baby running after her mother, begging to be picked up, and she tugs on her skirts, holding her back as she tries to hurry off—all tears, fawning up at her, till she takes her in her arms… That’s how you look, Patroclus, streaming live tears.

13

But listen to me first and swear an oath to use all your eloquence and strength to look after me and protect me.

13

It is entirely seemly for a young man killed in battle to lie mangled by the bronze spear. In his death all things appear fair.

13

Strife and Confusion joined the fight, along with cruel Death, who seized one wounded man while still alive and then another man without a wound, while pulling the feet of one more corpse out from the fight. The clothes Death wore around her shoulders were dyed red with human blood.

13

Ah my friend, if you and I could escape this fray and live forever, never a trace of age, immortal, I would never fight on the front lines again or command you to the field where men win fame.

12

The sort of words a man says is the sort he hears in return.

12

…and they limp and halt, they’re all wrinkled, drawn, they squint to the side, can’t look you in the eyes, and always bent on duty, trudging after Ruin, maddening, blinding Ruin. But Ruin is strong and swift—She outstrips them all by far, stealing a march, leaping over the whole wide earth to bring mankind to grief.

11

What are the children of men, but as leaves that drop at the wind's breath?

11

All things are in the hand of heaven, and Folly, eldest of Jove's daughters, shuts men's eyes to their destruction. She walks delicately, not on the solid earth, but hovers over the heads of men to make them stumble or to ensnare them.

10

The lord of distant archery, Apollo,answered: "Lord of earthquake, sound of mindyou could not call me if I strove with youfor the sake of mortals, poor things that they are.Ephemeral as the flamelike budding leaves,men flourish on the ripe wheat of the grainland,then in spiritless age they waste and die.

9

...of all creatures that breathe and move on earthnone is more to be pitied than a man.

9

And his good wife will tear her cheeks in grief, his sons are orphans and he, soaking the soil red with his own blood, he rots away himself—more birds than women flocking round his body!

7

Three thousand years have not changed the human condition in this respect; we are still lovers and victims of the will to violence, and so long as we are, Homer will be read as its truest interpreter.

7

You've injured me, Farshooter, most deadly of the gods; And I'd punish you, if I had the power.

7

Cattle and fat sheep can all be had for the raiding, tripods for the trading, and tawny headed stallions. But a mans's lifebreath cannot come back again- no raiders in force, no trading brings it back, once it slips through a man's clenched teeth.

7

A multitude of rulers is not a good thing. Let there be one ruler, one king.

6

What is proper to hear, no one, human or divine, will hear before you.

6

The gods are hard to handle — when they come blazing forth in their true power.

5