In Book 18, Odysseus, still disguised as a beggar, “[a]nd the one who knew the world” (144), comments to one of the kinder suitors:
So I will tell you something. Listen. Listen closely.
Of all that breathes and crawls across the earth,
our mother earth breeds nothing feebler than a man.
So long as the gods grant him power, spring in his knees,
he thinks he will never suffer affliction down the years.
But then, when the happy gods bring on the long hard times,
bear them he must, against his will, and steel his heart.
Our lives, our mood and mind as we pass across the earth
turn as the days turn . .
as the father or men and gods makes each day dawn.
I, too, seemed destined to be a man of fortune once
and a wild wicked swath I cut, indulged my lust for violence,
staking all on my father and my brothers.
Look at me now.
And so, I say, let no man be lawless all his life,
just take in peace what gifts the gods will send (18.149-63)
What do the lines above reveal about the impact of Odysseus own journey on him? What has he learned? What insights has he gained? What values does he advocate? What other episodes in the poem up to this point contribute to the viewpoint expressed by Odysseus in these lines? Is Odysseus' journey similar or different to Telemachus' journey to manhood? Has Odysseus changed (has he renounced any of his former values or beliefs)?