Telemachus Essay

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From Feeble to Firm
In the epic poem “The Odyssey” by Homer, the first four books contain the transformation of Odysseus’ son Telemachus from a weak child to a strong and confident man. This growth prepares the reader for the similar challenges Odysseus will face throughout the rest of the epic. However, this change could not occur without the help of Athena, who inspires Telemachus to stand up to the suitors and go on a quest to find his father. Nestor and Menelaus will also guide Telemachus to his true self. These experiences help Telemachus utilize his potential and mature into a noble and brave man like his father. Telemachus will strengthen his words and begin to take control of his life, which transforms him into a noble and confident man, with the help of Athena, Nestor, and Menelaus. Athena, when she arrives in book one, inspires Telemachus to move from a pathetic and weak adolescent to showing a glimpse of strength. Homer first depicts Telemachus, “sitting among the suitors heart obsessed with grief. / He could almost see his magnificent father here... / … / and drive these suitors all in a rout throughout the halls.”(page 81) (Homer. United States of America. Viking Penguin, 1996. Print.) Clearly, Telemachus is helpless and immature. He is moping around hoping for someone to drive the suitors out of his house, when he himself is fully capable of getting rid of them. Basically, Telemachus lacks independence and self-confidence. However, when Athena comes disguised to inspire Telemachus, he seems to show a shred of hope. He is still slightly unsure of himself, but Athena encourages him to take initiative in getting rid of the suitors. Telemachus finally decides to drive them out, and he states, “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? .../ … / … / I’ll stop at nothing to hurl destruction at your heads,.” (page 103) Telemachus is at his first turning point in...
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