Telemachus was the son of Odysseus, mighty king of Ithaca and hero of Athena. Telemachus was a mere infant when Odysseus set sail for Troy where he helped to conquer the Trojans and retrieve Menelaus’ wife Helen. Despite emerging victorious from the Trojan war, Odysseus hadn't succeeded in returning home to Ithaca, and so twenty-one years after his departure for Troy, his family and kingdom believed him to be dead. Telemachus had lived his entire life without his father and as the Odyssey begins, although twenty-one years of age, Telemachus seems to be a child and not a powerful young man. Telemachus was first portrayed as a somber young lad who's heart was stricken with grief for the loss of his father. He was daydreaming and keeping to himself
Homer's Odyssey depicts the life of a middle-aged, while Tennyson's "Ulysses" describes Ulysses as an old man. The character's role in his son's life shifts. With maturity, Telemachus does not require as much guidance from his father. However, time does not alter the caring fellowship the man has with his crew, nor the willpower that he possesses in achieving his goals.
During the book it seems that even a goddess, such as Athene, does not know what to do with somebody as incompetent, and inexperienced as Telemachus. Athene toys with some ideas and then finally decides to get Telemachus to go to Sparta. Perhaps it is this journey that finally gives Telemachus a chance to mature and see the world. Through this journey, Telemachus' first, he sees many new sights and encounters new situations. He is humbled when he sees the palace of Menelaos and his most beautiful
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.
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.
Homer shows how Telemachus has grown up in The Odyssey, through how he changes his attitude about taking responsibility for his household. At the beginning of the story, he is not that adamant about taking care of his home. He says, “’Isn’t it quite enough that you, my mother’s suitors have ravaged it all, my very best, these many years, while I was still a boy?’” (Pg. 103 lines 346-8) He just cares about the material wealth of the household. He doesn’t think that it is his duty to take care of it. This is a very immature view. However, Telemachus does take some responsibility for it. He lets the guest into his house and tells his mother to go upstairs, which shows he is taking responsibility for what is his. This is true in some ways, but he is only taking on minimal responsibility because it is required of him, not because he
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
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.
He was unable to stand up to them in the face of the suitors and when he tried he was mocked and made fun of. Athena tells Telemachus to leave his childish ways behind, she said: “Telemachus, you are to be no thoughtless man, no coward, if truly the strong force of your father is instilled in you; such a man he was for accomplishing word and action.” (Odyssey 2.267-272) She inspired him to be like his father and to not be cowards. Telemachus’ self-discover happen swiftly, Athen notices a change in the way him and the way he carried himself, as seen in the is excerpt from the book; "Few sons are equal of their fathers; most fall short, all too few surpass them But you, brave and adept from this day on, Odysseus' cunning has hardly given out in you there's hope that you will reach your goal.
Telemachus has been without a father his whole life and when Athena sends him on this journey to find and bring him back which will change him as a person. As Nestor tells his story he recalls what happens after Aegisthus murdered Agamemnon: “In the eighth year, though, he met his doom In the person of Orestes, come back from
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).
Telemachus makes many outbursts regarding the suitors, however, the suitors note his adolescence and inexperience, paying Telemachus little mind. Telemachus’ outbursts only lead to more strife from the suitors. After consult with Athena, who has disguised herself as an old man, Mentor, Telemachus decides to heed her advice and hold council in his father’s place. This is a monumental move, for the council has not met for twenty years. He states his case to the council, and to the suitors.
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
Through his journey to Pylos and Sparta, Telemachus, who was born into a very privileged and high ranking family, learns how to use his inherited social status and connections for his own interests, which will help him mature into manhood. Telemachus was never old enough to remember what it was like when his father was around. Since Odysseus left, he has lived with his mom and nurse. However, for three years, he has been overwhelmed by suitors, who have taken over his house. Odysseus was never able to show Telemachus how to stand up for himself. Telemachus has been less than passive when going about doing things to get what he wants. When Athena comes and tells him that his father is going to come home, he realizes he has been ignoring what he knows is wrong, such as the suitors throwing parties every night, and that he needs to stop them. He doesn’t have any idea of how he is going to find his father when Athena comes, but he along his way finds that he has many resources and connections at hand that will allow him to find out what happened to his dad. Athena, disguised as Mentor, an old friend of Odysseus, encourages Telemachus to talk to Nestor. "Telemachus, no more shyness, this is not the time!/ We sailed the seas for this, for news of your father —// So go right up to Nestor...// Press him yourself to tell the whole truth:/ he'll never lie — the man is far too wise"(3.16-22) Here, Athena is encouraging Telemachus to be assertive, to get what the needs to know to find his father. Telemachus responds, "How can I greet him, Mentor, even approach the king?/ I'm hardly adept at subtle conversation./ Someone my age might feel shy, what's more,/ interrogating an older man."/ (3.23-27) He is intimidated. The irony is that he himself is of the higher class, and if Odysseus had been home, he would be accustomed to these interactions. This is Odysseus learning that he has high social status and can enjoy the privileges he was born with, such as being able to talk to the king. While there, Telemachus learns of the fate of the family of Agamemnon. Agamemnon came home to find his wife in love with Aegisthus, and together they kill him. Orestes, one of Agamemnon’s sons, avenges his father’s murder and kills