The Maturation Of Telemachus

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The Maturation of Telemachus In the first book of Homer 's The Odyssey, we are introduced to Odysseus ' son, Telemachus. It is here we learn of Odysseus ' troubles and the situation regarding his estate and those who are presently inhabiting it. What the reader is allowed to witness right from the start, is the beginnings of Telemachus ' transformation, from a child to an adult.

This maturation, from boyhood to manhood, is first sparked by an encounter with Athena. To Telemachus, Athena is Mentes, the lord of Taphian men who love their oars. Athena, or Mentes as Telemachus knows her, is looking for Odysseus and asks of his whereabouts. When struck with the news that he is nowhere to be found she instills hope in young Telemachus. "He won
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Helen recognizes Telemachus due to his physical resemblance of Odysseus. It is here that Telemachus finds the answer he is looking for. While under the influence of wine (and drug, enhanced by Helen), Menelaus repeats a story told to him by the Old Man of the Sea. It is from this story that Telemachus learns of his father 's current location. He is currently being held as a sex-slave to the nymph Calypso on an island with no way of escape without a ship. Heeding to the advice given to him by king Nestor; "Don 't stray too long from home, nor leave your wealth unguarded with such a set of scoundrels in the place"¦"� (Fagles, Book 3, 314), and with the newly acquired knowledge of his fathers existence, Telemachus sets sail back to Ithaca.

While sailing back towards his homeland, Telemachus is confronted by Athena yet again. Here she warns him of the suitors planned ambush awaiting him. "Picked men of the suitors lie in ambush, grim-set in the straits between Ithaca and rocky Same, poised to kill you before you can reach home, but I have my doubts they will."� (Fagles, Book 15, 32). Athena continues to give Telemachus advice regarding where to sail and where he is to go upon landing. It is the swineherd in which Telemachus is told to visit, and this ultimately leads to the reunion with his father, Odysseus.

It is during this reunion in which Odysseus and Telemachus plan the slaughtering of the suitors. The only problem being that there
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