Many people have different thoughts regarding the question, “Is Telemachus strong or weak?” Some say he is most diffidently weak due to his lack of assertiveness in the presence of his mother’s sutures while others argue that Athena’s influence on him throughout the book made him strong. Personally, I believe Telemachus is weak. Even though Athena did help him to become a stronger man, that sense of bravery and strength was not originally present within Telemachus. Not only is Telemachus weak because he doesn’t do anything about his problems with the sutures but also because he is patient. A little bit too patient maybe. This patience can easily be interpreted as a weakness of Telemachus. He is aware that if he goes against the sutures, they could easily kill him but at the same time, he does not want his mother to marry. If she marries then the new husband will be the man of the house instead of himself or his father (if he ever returns.)
In the beginning chapters of The Odyssey, Telemachus lacks a lot of self confidence. Even though he is most likely a man in his late twenties or early thirties, many characters in the book refer to him as “a child”, “barely an adult”, “an innocent kid”, and other words questioning his adulthood and manliness. He is young, inexperienced, unhappy, and helpless. Telemachus is also ignorant like a child would be. Even though he never really knew his father Odysseus, as he left when he was still a small child, Telemachus talks about how he is the son of an unlucky man. The only fact he knows that his father never came back after leaving him and his mother Penelope. He automatically assumes that Odysseus is dead and thinks of him as “unlucky”. It isn’t until Athena arrives and basically “coaches him” into being a man when he shows some self confidence and begins to see his father differently. Telemachus tries very hard to be strong and to take control of the sutures in his home but in the end he doesn’t have the mental strength...
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