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Telemakhos Every boy would like to be characterized as a man. Most look to age or the way they see their own maturity to determine manhood for themselves. Neither age nor self-image can determine whether or not you have become a man. In that time, arete would be used to determine one’s manhood. Early in the Odyssey, we see Telemakhos daydreaming as an untrained boy. The book says, "...-for he, too, was sitting there, unhappy among the suitors, a boy, daydreaming"(277). He is no comparison to Odysseus as a leader or fighter. As the book goes on, we see Telemakhos become more and more like his father. By the end of the fight with the suitors we see him now matured from the youth we saw into the man he should be. Telemakhos tries to be like his father to the best of his ability, even though his father has been away since he was merely an infant. The only father he knew was from stories told by people, including his mother. He also dreamed constantly of the man his father must have been, thinking, "What if his great father came from the unknown world and drove these men like dead leaves through the place, recovering honor and lordship in his own domains"(277). It is as if Odysseus did raise his son in some ways, through the dreams and stories, perhaps being a better figure to look up to rather than in person. In the dreams and stories, you can be built up to be more than you really are. In person, you can see how flawed the person really is, which may lower your opinions and ideals. But still, one would not want to sacrifice that for the intimate father and son love and memories that would have been attained during childhood. The better father would be the one that was always there. By traveling far from home and risking his life to learn about his father, Telemakhos is forced to mature at a tremendous rate. He learns more from his trip than he could have by staying at home with the suitors. From Nestor and Menelaos he learns courage, bravery, and how to be both a man and a host. He learns that he must fight against what the suitors represent, to stop them from claiming what is his.
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