Telemachus As Metaphors In The Odyssey

Decent Essays
The Odyssey proves to be a metaphor for a man’s life through comparing the different characters present in the novel; Telemachus - the young - Odysseus - the middle-aged - and Laertes - the old. Telemachus, to begin with, is weak, left on his own by Odysseus’s unknown fate. “He would have left a great name for his son to inherit. But there was no famous end for him. He has left nothing but sorrow and tears” (31). Because of his father’s hazy outcome, Telemachus’s mother has been left in social purgatory where Penelope neither refuses to marry nor will she accept the marriage. This leaves Telemachus at a disadvantage in that he has no real claim to his own house in Odysseus’s absence, and is unable to protect his mother from the suitor’s…show more content…
He declares no, and it is the second difficult decision that Telemachus has had to make in such a short period of time, and it proves Telemachus’s loyalty to his mother and father, even in the face of the suitors consuming his goods and raping his servants. Telemachus could leave all of his troubles behind at that moment and let Penelope, his mother, marry off to one of the suitors, easing his mind, but by choosing to continue his quest, it shows his loyalty to his mother, and the father he barely knows.
Telemachus faces further trials when he sneakily avoids getting ambushed by the suitors on his way back, by ordering his men to conceal his ship. “You will take the ship round to the port” (242). In this short adventure, Telemachus has diplomatically made his way through the world while also using his intellect to avoid being killed, just as Odysseus has done throughout the story. At this point in the story, there is only one thing separating Telemachus and his father — Odysseus has killed men, Telemachus has not. To make Telemachus finally on par with his father, the son stands side by side with his father in facing the suitors that plague his household and helps Odysseus murder every one of them. “Skulls cracked, the hideous groans of dying men were heard, and the whole floor ran with blood” (338). When the blood has been spilled, Telemachus has become a man in the eyes of his father. Telemachus, through the trials he faces, becomes a man, and Odysseus, through his
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