Telemachus Journey To Manhood Essay

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Setting Sail on a Journey to Manhood

Throughout The Odyssey Telemachus grows in character from an unprepared teen to a young man who could one day rule Ithaca. He has many experiences traveling to learn more about his father and many that occur on Ithaca once Odysseus returns. All of these events help to shape him into the assertive young man he becomes. Telemachus has many experiences on his journey to manhood. In Ithaca while Odysseus is gone Penelope is being plagued with suitors asking for her hand in marriage. Telemachus sees what a nuisance they are to his mother, and how much they are taking from his father’s palace. He wants to put a stop to this and comes to the conclusion that he must find his father, or at least some information
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After he gets together a crew he begins to take charge, and “Telemachus shout[s] out commands to all his shipmates: ‘All lay hands to tackle!’ They [spring] to orders” (106). Telemachus at this point is beginning to find his own voice. He is driven by the desire to find Odysseus and it is bringing out an authoritative side to him which the men seem to respect. Despite some of the crew being older than him they listen and respond positively to his orders. Once they reach their first destination, Pylos, King Nestor addresses Telemachus and his crew. At the start of this interaction Telemachus is quite fearful and intimidated by the king. Thanks to Athena however, “poised Telemachus answer[es], filled with heart, the heart Athena herself inspired, to ask for the news about his father, gone so long, and make his name…show more content…
Odysseus returns to Ithaca in the form of a beggar. He first comes to Eumaeus the swineherd. Telemachus shows up, and when introduced to the beggar he wants to make him as comfortable as possible while on Ithaca or allow him to return to his destination of choice. Since the palace is full of suitors Telemachus is trying to figure out the best plan for their new guest when he says he will give him food, and clothing, and “send him off wherever his heart desires. Or if you’d rather keep him here at the farmstead” (341). Telemachus is showing an example of xenia after experiencing this guest-host relationship during his travels, and instead of being the guest he has mastered the role of the host. Once Odysseus reveals his true identity to Telemachus they make a plan to be rid of the suitors for good. While in the midst of their scheme Telemachus steps up with a proposition. Athena had inspired Penelope to require a task of the suitors in order for her to choose one of them to marry. The task was to string Odysseus bow, and while they are attempting to do so Telemachus says “ I’d even take a crack at the bow myself” (418). He then proceeds to tell them what will occur if he succeeds. Telemachus is being very assertive, and is about to take part in the challenge however Odysseus motions
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