This book unites characters and events from the past, present, and future to help Odysseus see why he needs to get home quickly. Odysseus's mother is the most important character from the past with whom Odysseus reunites. Odysseus did not know his mother died while he was away and found out while he was looking for Teiresias. Odysseus states, "now came the soul of Antikleia, dead, my mother seeing this ghost I grieved" (187). She asks him how he came to Hades, a place that is "no sight for living eyes" (190). Odysseus tells her he came to see Teiresias, then asks her about the rest of his family. She tells him Penelope is grieving for him and his son has taken over his kingdom. Odysseus then asks, "what was the bane that pinned you down in Death?" (190). She answers that she died of a broken heart, longing for her son to return. This conversation is a direct link to Odysseus's past.
When people think of a hero, they think of a tall, handsome, loyal, brave, and a type of man that could do no wrong. The “hero” that is portrayed in the Odyssey is a man named Odysseus. This “hero” may be tall and handsome, but he is often arrogant, disrespectful, conceited, and rude. Odysseus consists of positive and negative characteristics that is shown in the text by Homer. These characteristics impact the characters day to day, or in the book’s case, the quests. In the Odyssey, Homer values the characteristics hospitality and cunning, but he objects bad leadership.
Leaving Telemachus to grow up without a father. In book 16 it says, “Think of a man who’s dear and only son, born to him in exile, reared with labor, has lived ten years abroad and now returns; How would that man embrace his son!” (Homer, 16, 19-22). Odysseus left Telemachus without a father for many years while he was at sea. Which would probably cause tension and doubtfulness in Telemachus when his father return. Due to the fact his has been gone for so many years. Another example of the father-son conflict is when Odysseus confronts Telemachus after Athena changes his clothes, “‘No god. Why take me for a god? No, no. I am that father whom your boyhood lacked and suffered pain for lack of. I am he.’ Held back for too long, the tears an down his cheeks as he embraced his son... ‘You cannot be my father Odysseus...’” (Homer, 16, 77-84). Because Telemachus has never really been with his father because he has been gone for so many years, it would make sense that he has doubts wether this man that just showed up is his father. Why should Telemachus beleive this man that just showed up and claimed to be his father? After all the men that have tried to be with Penelope in Odysseus’ absence he has the common sense to think that maybe someone is playing a cruel trick on him to be with Penelope.
In homer's Odyssey the main character Odysseus is a person who only tries to help himself. Although he earns the trust of his men while in Troy, he loses it on his perilous journey home. Many times in the epic he manipulates others, commits foolish acts and is full of hubris. He tries to take shortcuts and as a result of this is men are killed and his boats destroyed. He plays with the lives of his men and he is punished for it. Odysseus is not a hero because, he is foolish, lacks faithfulness and is consumed by his Hubris and selfishness.
One of the major themes of Homer’s Odyssey is the importance of cunning over strength. This also happens to be the case with Odysseus and his long ten year journey home from fighting in Troy. Odysseus uses his intelligence over strength to ‘fight’ through tough times and bring himself home to Ithaca. Odysseus uses his intelligence when he has his men tie him down while passing the Sirens, so he himself will be able to hear their beautiful song, but not be entranced by their singing. He also uses cunning to escape from the Cyclops’ cave without being harmed. He then uses his cunning by storing away all of the armory, shields, and knives from the suitors so he is able to kill them easily.
Still he searches out for clues and any information of the possible demise of his father. He is willing to go far and wide just for the knowledge of his father's whereabouts. He is a faithful son and aids his father in all possible ways as Odysseus returns and reclaims what is legitimately his. Telemachus is there to fight side by side with his father whom he has only loved in his heart and mind. Some would call that blind faith. Just as the God whom we serve today calls us to love and serve him without seeing him with our eyes, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29). Although Odysseus is Telemachus' earthly father, one can see the parallels. He is as devoted to Odysseus as Penelope is; yet he has no actual memory of his father what so ever.
In the Odyssey Telemachus has varying relationships with his mother, Penelope, the suitors, and his nurse, Eurycleia; a mother and son but also head of household and subordinate member of the household, a young boy and superior men, and a son and mother but also a master and servant. In the poem, Telemachus must find out what became of his father, Odysseus, who never returned home from the Trojan war. Meanwhile suitors from various places try to force his mother, Penelope, into marriage while they deplete all of Odysseus’ resources and destroy his house. With all of these complicated situations, Telemachus must take on a variety of different roles depending on who he’s interacting with. Based on the text, Telemachus has superior, strained, and complex relationships with his mother, the suitors, and Eurycleia.
Long-tried royal Odysseus is tested for devotion and trust through the absence of his loved ones. His character can be seen through the actions and voice of his very own son Telemachus. Since Telemachus and Odysseus have been away from each other
Odysseus describes this incident himself “I called back with another burst of anger, ‘Cyclops--if any man on the face of the earth should ask you who blinded you, shamed you so--say Odysseus, raider of cities, he gouged out your eye, Laertes’ son who makes his home in Ithaca!” (Homer 227). This is a clear representation about how his overconfidence in himself has gotten the better of him. This causes Polyphemus to bellow out what Odysseus did to his father, Poseidon, “Hear me -- Poseidon, god of the sea-blue mane who rocks the earth! If I really am your son and you claim to be my father-- come, grant that Odysseus, raider of cities, Laertes’ son who makes his home in Ithaca never reaches home. Or if he’s fated to see his people once again and reach his well-built house and his own native country, let him come home late and come a broken man-- all shipmates lose, alone in a stranger’s ship-- and let him find a world of pain at home!”(Homer 228). This is the reason that Odysseus came home late, the reason why he was alone, and the reason why he had such a rough, terrible, journey back to his homeland
Telemachus’s coming of age, however, is incomplete because he lacks the most important masculine influence: a father. He is unable to fully become a man without Odysseus present; he cannot kill the suitors on his own, and feels abandoned and weak without his father. He says of Odysseus, “He’s vanished, gone, and left me pain and sorrow...All of the nobles who rule the islands...are courting my mother and ruining our house. She refuses to make a marriage she hates but can’t stop it either” (Homer 8). The reason Telemachus’s life is so out of control is because his only parental figure is his mother, Penelope. The text portrays Penelope, untempered by the presence of a husband, as the cause of disorder in the home of Odysseus; she refuses to choose a husband, but is too weak to stop the suitors’ advances. A father figure, Odysseus, is needed to create order in young Telemachus’s life, because only a man can impose such order.
On his journey home, Odysseus encounters many obstacles which he attempts to overcome swiftly so that he may arrive home as soon as possible; however, it can be argued that nostos is not his only motive throughout his journey, though it may be the most significant.
Odysseus must journey from Troy to his homeland of Ithaca. Throughout this journey Odysseus experiences a lot of inconsistent emotions. A lot of this is attributed to the physical and mental hell he goes through on this remarkable
This statement is very telling as it defines not only the appearance of the great Odysseus, but also the son he left behind. Furthermore, it begins to develop a timeline of actions by announcing that Odysseus left home when Telemachus was only a baby. Nestor recognizes that Odysseus ' appearance, vivacity, and personality are apparent in his progeny, Telemachus. This is encouraging to Telemachus as he hears that he resembles the great king Odysseus. As Telemachus presses for news of what has become of his father, Telemachus learns that his father may yet be alive and held captive by a goddess-nymph named Calypso. He then glorifies the strong will of Orestes and encourages Telemachus to do the same: "And you, my friend - / how tall and handsome I see you now - be brave, you too, / so men to come will sing your praises down the years." (3, 226 - 227).
Now we return to the re-encounter of the father and the son. They spend twenty years apart from each other undergoing trials and hardship that poise them for their final confrontation. Telemachus and Odysseus both arrive on the island of Ithaca within more or less the same time period. And they both, out of prudence and devotion, seek safety in the swineherd's security; in this they are analogous. Odysseus' restraint is shown when he abstains from revealing his identity to his son until Eumaeus has exited. Before father and son first recognize each other, and before Telemachus knows that he is talking to his father, an interesting phenomenon occurs in which both father and son demonstrate their humility and likeness to each other. The event involves Odysseus offering his seat to Telemachus and Telemachus refusing the offer. The significance of this event is that Odysseus, who is in disguise as a beggar, is a more dominant man than Telemachus and modest enough to offer his seat. Telemachus in turn knows that he is a better man than a beggar but refuses chivalrously to take the beggar's seat. The
Odysseus’s strong desire to return to his family inspires foreign rulers to assist Odysseus in returning home. Odysseus states, “Nevertheless I long—I pine, all my days— / to travel home and see the dawn of my return” to Calypso (5.242-234). Odysseus stayed with the goddess Calypso as her “unwilling lover” until he leaves on a raft (5.172; 179-187). Calypso grants Odysseus leave from her island because he is in grieving over being separated from his family. Odysseus lands in Phaeacia after leaving Calypso’s island. While begging for passage home, Odysseus says, “How far away I’ve been / from all my loved ones—how long I have suffered” (7.180-181). King Alcinous