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Would to god I could strip you of life and breath and ship you down to the House of Death as surely as no one will ever heal your eye, not even your earthquake god himself!’

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    Where did you get this awesome sentence?
    – d'alar'cop
    Mar 19, 2014 at 3:15

2 Answers 2

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I will loosely break it down:

Would to god = I sincerely wish

I could strip you of life and breath = I could kill you

and ship you down to the House of Death = (more emphasis - means "kill you" again)

as surely as no one will ever heal your eye = as entirely as you cannot stop being blind (in one eye?)

, not even your earthquake god himself!’ = in a way that your Gods cannot help you at all.

Very clearly (and basically) I means: "I really want to kill you..."

Hope that helps.

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  • @username901345 I added a more direct and simple clarification. Yes I am a native speaker (and speak other languages too)
    – d'alar'cop
    Mar 19, 2014 at 4:02
  • Of course no one will heal you! To the same degree I wanna kill you?
    – user41481
    Mar 19, 2014 at 4:05
  • @username901345 Yes, I suppose so. "To the extent that no-one can heal you, I want to kill you".
    – d'alar'cop
    Mar 19, 2014 at 4:14
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    I believe this is from Homer's Odyssey, and is what Odysseus says to Polyphemus (the Cyclops - hence the reference to one eye) after Polyphemus has been blinded. He claims that Poseidon, his father, may restore his vision.
    – long
    Mar 19, 2014 at 4:17
  • @long Thank you, sir. I thought it looked familiar - or at least famous.
    – d'alar'cop
    Mar 19, 2014 at 4:21
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It is from Book Nine of The Odyssey

Odysseus has blinded the Cyclops Polyphemus, And taunted him as he and his men set sail to leave the blinded Cyclops. The Cyclops answers him, stating that his father, Poseidon, also known as the earthquake god, will heal him (restore his vision) if he prays to him to do so.

Odysseus fires off his parting shot:

Heal you! Would to god I could strip you of life and breath and ship you down to the House of Death as surely as no one will ever heal your eye, Not even your earthquake god himself!

An interpretation is:

"I'm sorry I only blinded you. I wish I could kill you and send you to Hades; I wish it as surely as you are blind, and will stay that way."

Then, Polyphemus prays to his father:

Hear me – Poseidon... grant that Odysseus, raider of cities... never reaches home. Or if he’s fated to see his own people once again and reach his well-built house and his native country, let him come home late and come a broken man, Let him lose all companions, and return under strange sail to bitter days at home.

Which is exactly what happens - it takes Odysseus 10 years and many awful losses to find his way back home.

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  • so. The possibility of his eye being unhealable is very certain. To the same degree of certainty, I wanna kill you! Is this OK?
    – user41481
    Mar 19, 2014 at 8:53
  • Yes. As surely as he will stay blind, Odysseus wants to kill him and send him to hell. Mar 19, 2014 at 22:32

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