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The Character Of Telemachus In Homer’s Odyssey Essay

It was thought only planarians can regrow their spines, however, it turns out that some humans could also perform this feat. This was done by a hero back in the times of the ancient Greeks. Telemachus, the protagonist of Telechamy (the first four books of The Odyssey by Homer), was introduced as a victim for the vultures and finished at the end of the fourth book as a confident youth. This was all because of the introduction of Athena, goddess of wisdom, into his sedentary life. Telemachus’ metamorphosis from an idle coward to an accomplishing hero was all due to the efforts of Athena’s encouragement.

She was able to greatly change of Telemachus’ personality because of her encouragements and helpful deeds, and led him to accomplish great feats. Telemachus started at the beginning of the epic as a weakling and a coward, and was a prey for the vultures before Athena helped him out. He was first introduced in the epic as “Prince Telemachus,/ sitting among the suitors, hearts obsessed with grief. ” (Homer. 1. 132- 133). That was the first impression he had on Athena when she arrived to his palace. No wonder he needed help, being helplessly surrounded by his enemies and spending his days worrying what was his father’s fate.

He is further characterized as indecisive, self-pitying and doubtful, supported by his quotations: “’Mother has always told me I’m his son, it’s true, but I am not so certain…… Now, think of the most unlucky mortal ever born-/ since you ask me, yes, they say Tam his son. ‘” (Homer. 1. 249-255) Telemachus is quite hesitant about his own character, he questions if he is indeed the offspring of a hero that is praised throughout the lands.

Other examples of his self-pity is that he says, ” ‘Now the gods have reversed our fortunes with a vengeance-l…. Now the gods/ have invented other miseries to plague me. ” and “All the nobles who rule the islands round about,/…. they lay waste my house! And my mother/…. while they continue to bleed my household white. / Soon-you wait-they’ll grind me down as well. ” (Homer. 1. 272-284, 286- 293) Telemachus believes that the disappearance of his father have caused the gods to give them misfortune and that the suitors are at fault of his misfortunes. This might be true, Athena claims, but he should do something to change the negatives of his life. However, these thoughts of doubts quickly dissipate, under the encouragement and advice Athena gives to him.

Athena was a great help to Telemachus, her encouragement was the thing that transformed him throughout the 4 chapters. Athena, the great goddess of wisdom, first starts by asking her father, Zeus, permission to assist the son of one of her favorite mortals. Coming to Telemachus’ hometown of Ithaca, she gives him invaluable advice when he questions himself. She first gives him information that his father is still alive, giving Telemachus hope. “Yet I tell you great Odysseus is not dead. He’s still alive,/… He’s plotting a way to journey home at last;/ he’s never at a loss. ” (Homer. . 228- 237) Another technique she uses to fire up Telemachus’ ego was to use comparison. She compares him to his father, “Oh how much you need Odysseus, gone so long-/ how he’d lay hands on all these brazen suitors! ” (Homer. 1. 296-297), where she says that what his great father would have done to the suitors if he was in Telemachus’ shoes. Another comparison she makes about him is to Prince Orestes, who has done great accomplishments when he is around Telemachus’ age.

“Haven’t you heard/ what glory Prince Orestes won throughout the world/… be brave, you too, so men come will ing your praises down the years. ” (Homer. 1. 342-347) She gives the final encouragement as a win-win situation, where he could save his father and also claim fame throughout the kingdom. Telemachus, after being “counseled… with so much kindness” (Homer. 1. 354) he is able to gather up his courage to go to foreign lands and search out information about his father. After the intervention of Athena to his life, Telemachus accomplishes great feats that would have been thought as impossible before. Right after the visit from Athena in the form of Mentes, he surprises his mom with his new-found confidence.

He orders her,” ‘mother,/ go back to your quarters. Tend to your own tasks,/… As for giving orders,/ men will see to that, but I most of all:/I hold the reins of power in the house. ‘” (Homer. 1. 409- 414) This was a drastic change in Telemachus’ personality, and his mother is one of the first people to be astonished by what he will continue to accomplish due to Athena. With one problem solved, he sets off to resolve the next. Telemachus releases his pent-up testosterone to take care of a problem that he should have dealt with a while ago, the suitors.

Suitors plague my mother-against her will-I… By god, it’s intolerable, what they do-disgrace,/ my house a shambles! ” (Homer. 2. 5568) is an excerpt from Telemachus’ speech to rid the suitors. He literally tells the suitors that they are just leeches and they lack the guts to properly ask for his mother’s hand in marriage by asking her father. The change is obvious in Telemachus, and every great feat he accomplishes shows his resemblance to Odysseus. Athena’s talk with Telemachus has a profound effect on him, with him displaying the results just right after lecture.

With Athena’s encouragements and advice, Telemachus is able to mature into a well-accomplishing hero. He started out as a weakling in the sense of mentality. He was insecure, self-pitying, bullied, and would have stayed that way if Athena did not come to help him out. After hearing the words right out of the goddess of wisdom’s mouth, his dead spirit is finally inflated and he becomes a new man. Because of Athena, he was able to escape from his shell of solitude and venture out to explore the outside world. Thanks to one person, a miracle has occurred.

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