October 16, 12
A Greek Hero The story of The Odyssey was greatly influence by the Greek gods. Throughout the book, the gods influence characters, greatly having an effect on the outcome of those characters. In the story, Telemakhos, son of Odysseus, is one of those dynamic characters, morphing from a distraught boy to a hero of great proportions. Although there are many gods, it was mainly Athena who had a part in his transformation. His change is constant and occurs during the entirety of the story, however, there are a few key times when Athens presence really pushes him closer to being that ideal Greek hero. These few times include when Athena first visits him in his fathers hall in book I, when he is next visited by Athena during his journey in the house of Menelaus in book XV, then finally when she appears in the house of Odysseus in books XXI and XXII.
Initially we meet Telemakhos sitting in his father’s great hall, gloomy and depressed over his father’s absence. This causes him to not immediately see a man at the door, Mentes, who is disguised, but is actually Athena. They begin to talk about his father, and Telemakhos is clearly in anguish, but has so far done nothing, having lost hope as seen in lines 206 and 207. Athena then makes it clear in lines 320 through 338 that he must go and look for new about his father and to firs throw out the suitors. Up until this point Telemakhos had been simply a distraught boy, however, Athena’s first message causes him to leap into action, not only giving hima goal, but hope too. He now has started his change with the help of a goddess, beginning to show signs of bravery when he stand sup to the suitors and delivers a strong speech, “Telemakhos’ brave speaking stunned them so.” Telemakhos already has this inside of him though, all that was needed was Athena’s push to help. Now being motivated, he also displays great loyalty, not only to the gods, but to his father. After all these