"All the nobles who rule the islands round about,
Dulichion, and Same, and wooded Zacynthus too,
and all who lord it in rocky Ithaca as well –
down to the last man they court my mother,
they lay waste my house! And mother…
she neither rejects a marriage she despises
nor can she bear to bring the courting to an end –
while they continue to bleed my household white.
Soon – you wait – they’ll grind me down as well."

– Homer

The Odyssey, Book 1, lines 285-293. Greed is an important theme in Homer’s epic poem. There is no better illustration of it than the way Penelope’s suitors behave by helping themselves to what they can lay hands on in Odysseus’ home. Telemachus in this speech uses a blood metaphor – "bleed my household white" – to describe their greed.