"Suitors plague my mother – against her will –
sons of the very men who are your finest here!
…they infest our palace day and night,
they butcher our cattle, our sheep, our fat goats,
feasting themselves sick, swilling our glowing wine
as if there’s no tomorrow – all of it, squandered.
Now we have no man like Odysseus in command
to drive this curse from the house. We ourselves?
We’re hardly the ones to fight them off. All we’d do
is parade our wretched weakness. A boy inept at battle.
Oh I’d swing to attack if I had the power in me.
By god, it’s intolerable, what they do – disgrace,
my house a shambles!"

– Homer

The Odyssey, Book 2, lines 54-55, 59-69. Telemachus complains to the men of Ithaca about the suitors plaguing his mother and feasting on their food like there is no tomorrow. The suitors take advantage of the absence of household head Odysseus to eat through the livestock in the hope that Penelope will agree to wed one of them. Telemachus feels unable to do anything about their abuse, describing himself as "a boy inept at battle."