Telemachus Growth In Homer's Odyssey

Good Essays
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
…show more content…
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 maturation. Additionally, Homer is foreshadowing that Telemachus will slowly grow and change into a man of …show more content…
Telemachus learns how to speak and argue respectively and impressively, which the Greeks look on with high regard. Once he gains his confidence, he is able to speak fluently and calmly. This is demonstrated when he lectures the suitors with power and persuasion to leave his house. Telemachus does not just learn to speak, but he also learns to take action. At the beginning of the poem Telemachus is like “Cinderella”, meaning he waits for someone to save him from his distress. He later transforms into his own “Prince Charming”, and decides to take initiative in his life. Athena can see this happening and states “Now there was a man, I’d say in words and action both.” (page 102) He becomes a man and fixes the problems in his life on his own, by driving out the suitors and searching for his lost

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Odysseus and Telemachus Character Foils Essay In Homer’s The Odyssey, Telemachus embarks on a mystical journey to find his father whom he has not seen in twenty years. While Odysseus is also trying to find his way back to his long lost home he encounters monsters in which his odds for survival are extremely low, but his willingness to find his family helps him triumph past even the deadliest creatures. The novel becomes a contrast between Odysseus and Telemachus’ traits and how they shape the book…

    • 473 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Telemachus’ Growth

    • 604 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Homer’s The Odyssey, several occasions transpire during which Telemachus grows in his positive mentality and acts with supreme courage: Telemachus forcefully addressing his mother, Telemachus standing up to the suitors, and Telemachus courageously setting sail in search of his long lost father. During the beginning of book one, Homer portrays Telemachus as a person who does not forcefully approach anybody. However, later in the story Telemachus experiences the opportunity to stand up to his mother, and…

    • 604 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Odyssey and Telemachus

    • 365 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Telemachus, son of Odysseus is a main character in the book the Odyssey. Throughout books 1-4 Telemachus begins to discover who he is. Not having a father as a child severely affects Telemachus. He becomes a timid, shy boy who is pampered by his mother. Although Telemachus is the son of a world-famous father, it does not help him in anyway. In the beginning, when the suitors are eating away Telemachus' fortune, all he does is whine. It is not until Telemachus receives divine attention that he matures…

    • 365 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    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…

    • 1274 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Athena and Telemachus

    • 379 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Eng-111 3/10/13 Athena and Telemachus Athena, the Grey eyed goddess, is one of those women in The Odyssey whose role is so important. She is the goddess of wisdom, who helps Telemachus on a journey to bring his father back home. Athena goes to Odysseus son to put courage in him. She doesn’t show her true self to humans; instead Athena disguises herself on three different occasions. She appeared as Odysseus friend Mentes, when she approached Telemachus. When Athena touches down Ithaca…

    • 379 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Telemachus The Aeneid

    • 1814 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Romans, becoming a man can mean slightly different things. Telemachus, the son of the great Odysseus, has to learn, for the most part, to become a man in the absence of his father. The son of Aeneas, Iulus, also grows up in the midst of trouble and war.…

    • 1814 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Is Telemachus A Hero

    • 133 Words
    • 1 Page

    My definition of a hero is someone who puts themselves last and tries to make sure who they care about the most is okay. Based on my definition, I would say that Telemachus is a hero. Telemachus puts his mother and father before himself throughout the whole story. You can tell he cares about Odysseus because he travels miles and miles around to try and get some information on his well being. He cares for penelope by trying his best to rid his household of the suitors. Another way he cares for penelope…

    • 133 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Analysis of Telemachus In the Odyssey, Telemachus, son of great hero Odysseus, who grows up in the world of greed and disrespect where the suitors take over his palace and court his mother, is one of the most significant character throughout the whole epic. His father, Odysseus, leaving the land Ithaca for 20 years, is the only warrior alive in Trojan war who hasn’t make his return home. During Telemachus’ expedition to search for the news of his father, he is under a process of maturation…

    • 1593 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Though one of the men insults him Telemachus remains calm and tells them one more time to leave his home by tomorrow.One of the suitor is wondering who was at dinner with them.He then asks Telemachus he responds saying that was an old family friend.He tells him that the guests name was Mentes.Telemaachus had already known that it was Athena.After talking with the suitors Telemachus headed toward his room to go to…

    • 73 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Telemachus: the Real Hero

    • 1083 Words
    • 5 Pages

    This essay will dissect Joseph Campbell’s Cosmogonic Cycle’s description of a hero. But what is a hero? Joseph Campbell defines a hero as one who takes a journey over land, through the mind, or of memory but one that comes out a changed man at the end of it. This essay will explain how Telemachus meets all of the standards that Joseph Campbell has set and therefore is a hero. He does not quite meet all of Campbell’s set standards, but he is still hero-like because he does all of what he needs to…

    • 1083 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays