In the beginning of The Odyssey, Telemachus is not yet a man and not sure of himself yet. Embarking on a mission to find his father, he matures from a child to a strong, single-minded adult. Throughout the poem, Telemachus finds his place in the world and becomes a more well-rounded person. Although Telemachus never quite matches his father Odysseus in terms of wit, strength, agility, his resilience does develop throughout the text. In the epic, The Odyssey, by Homer, the young boy Telemachus changes from an insecure teen into a confident and poised young man as he travels the seas in search for his father, whose bravery and intelligence proves to be comparable to his own.
In The Odyssey, Homer shows how Telemachus matures through his control of emotions. At the beginning of the story, he is both physically and emotionally immature. Unable to control his feelings, he acts like a boy, even crying in front of Menelaus. During the young prince’s speech to the suitors, the poem says that Telemachus, “Filled with anger, down on the ground he dashed the speaker’s scepter- bursting into tears. Pity seized the assembly” (Homer 95). This shows that he acts like a child having a temper tantrum, throwing his toy to the ground and crying. Not only does he pity himself, the crowd pities him as well. The people see him as a child, not as a figure of respect that the son of Odysseus should be. However, throughout his journey, he begins to change. When he is speaking to Menelaus the passage mentions, “With all the poise he had, Telemachus replied...” (Homer 134). He is learning suavity and prudence. But along with this newfound composure, Telemachus also has fits of weeping for his lost father. This is a sign that he still does not ha...
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...nsibility because it is required of him, not because he desires to. Also, if he did feel a strong sense of responsibility, he would have stayed and taken care of his home. He would have found a way to get rid of the suitors through one of his father’s friends. He would have stepped up and taken responsibility. Instead he left, partially because he couldn’t take responsibility by himself. Even so, he is doing is best to take control of his household.
In The Odyssey, Homer portrays Telemachus’ coming of age. He does this through the difference shown between Telemachus’ control of emotion, treatment by the suitors and view of taking responsibility for his household from the beginning verses the end. Homer uses Telemachus’ coming of age to discuss the universal theme of growing up. His story is an archetype for what all people go through at some point in their lives.
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