In What Ways Is the Telemachy Important to the Odyssey as a Whole

1553 Words Feb 20th, 2012 7 Pages
In what ways is the Telemachy important to the Odyssey as a whole? What would the poem lose if these first four books were removed? Homer’s the Odyssey is the epic tale of Odysseus’ return home from the battle of Troy, yet we do not truly get to the hero in action until after we are drawn through the story of his son life in the absence of his father in Ithaka. In the first four books, we see how Telemachos, Odysseus’ son, matures and through his eyes Homer shows us the unrest and troubles of Ithaka without Odysseus’ presence. The Telemachy proves its importance to Odyssey showing the audience the characters and setting the scene for the Odysseus’ tale whilst foreshadowing the events in order to heighten the audience’s expectations. …show more content…
A lot of the anger towards the suitors is manufactured in the first four books; we see them abuse Odysseus’ home and their treatment of Telemachos and Penelope. This is a necessity to The Odyssey as Odysseus’ actions at the end need to be justifiable. He horrifically kills all the suitors, and it can be argued that they did not truly deserve this fate, Ithaka needed a new ruler after Odysseus’ twenty year absence and their behaviour could be a reaction to Penelope leading them on as Antinoos argues. The Telemachy tries to get the audience behind Odysseus and feel that the death of the suitors has to happen, not only by creating animosity towards the suitors but by also imposing the idea that this is the right thing to do. Homer uses the story of Orestes, Agamemnon’s son, who gets revenge for his father. Both Nestor and Menelaus tell Telemachos of Agamemnon’s fate and it is clear that it was essential that Aegisthus be killed; this tells Telemachos that action must be taken. At the end of Telemachy this idea is justified when we see the suitors planning to ambush Telemachos upon his return, and it is clear how evil these characters are. I fear that without the Telemachy creating and reinforcing these views into the audiences head, their feelings towards the characters wouldn’t be as vibrant and may even be completely different. As we do not return to Ithaka until Book
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