Odysseus v Telemachus
“Maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had, and what you've learned from them, and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.” – Anonymous (Thinkexist.com). Maturity is a key theme during the journeys of Telemachus and Odysseus. In Homer’s Odyssey the journeys of Telemachus and Odysseus have many similarities and differences such as their common goal and the lessons they learn; and only by overcoming these obstacles are they able to become emotionally stronger and find success in Ithaca.
Odysseus and Telemachus’ respective journeys have many similarities such as the common enemy the share and the goal they are fighting towards. First, due to Odysseus’ long absence after the war, he was thought to be dead, which led to a large influx of suitors wishing to marry Penelope. During The Odyssey the suitors represent a common enemy between Telemachus and Odysseus. “The sons … are pestering my mother to marry them against her will. They are afraid to go to her father … hanging about my father's house … never giving as much as a thought to the quantity of wine they drink. No estate can stand such recklessness; we have now no [Odysseus] to ward off harm from our doors, and I cannot hold my own against them” (Butler BK 2). The suitors not only threaten Telemachus’ right as King of Ithaca, but they also threaten Odysseus’ home and marriage to Penelope. Next, in addition to sharing a common enemy, Telemachus and Odysseus both have a common goal in mind throughout their journeys; to reunite their family. Telemachus sets out to Pylos and Sparta hoping to find his father and drive off the suitors, while Odysseus is also trying to return to Ithaca to see his wife and son after his 20 year absence. He uses his powers of persuasion to gain Calypso’s favor shortly before leaving her island; "Goddess," replied [Odysseus], "do not be angry … Penelope is nothing like so tall or so...
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