Telemechus in The Odyssey

1027 Words5 Pages
The people who raise a child influence that child’s values. Telemechus in “The Odyssey” is the son of Odysseus, a hero from the battle of Troy. After Telemechus was born, Odysseus left for battle leaving Telemechus, and his wife, Penelope, for a sum of twenty years. Telemechus had to learn to become a man at a very young age because he had to uphold the position of the man in the household. He developed a way of modernized thinking for this time in Greece, this includes his disbelief in the gods or their power over human beings. Telemechus also learned good judgment of character, from the people who surrounded his childhood. This epic poem portrays Odysseus as a strong hero, physically and mentally, however, Telemechus surpasses his father’s strength, mentally (physically is not mentioned in detail). Telemechus’ coming of age, although not described, made him become a stronger person than his father.

Telemechus had to assume his father’s roles in the household because of his absence. Odysseus would have the responsibility of taking care of Penelope and Laertes, his father. When Telemechus was young, he was rushed into becoming a responsible adult. Odysseus was strong leader and next in line for the throne of Ithaca. Therefore, Telemechus had to protect his family’s land and throne in Ithaca, especially when suitors appeared on the doorstep looking for Penelope’s hand in marriage. Even though he heard about how his father was a strong leader, he did not have him as a role model. He had to find his own role models, such as his grandfather, Laertes. The responsibilities placed on Telemechus when he was young made him mature faster. Since Telemechus handled these new responsibilities well, he is stronger than Odysseus. He adapted to the situation at hand immediately, unlike Odysseus who takes a longer time to adapt to problems. For instance, it took him a while to devise a plan to defeat Polyphemus at the Land of the Cyclopes, causing some of his shipmates to be Polyphemus’ dinner. The rush Telemechus had from childhood to adulthood shows that he has the strength to accept changes, and form his own ideas on the Greek values.

Telemechus is a modern thinker from the method in which he raised himself. He did not have a father to guide him through learning all of the Greek values, and he formed some of his own opinions. “Those two are great defenders, no one doubts it, but throned in the serene clouds over head, other affairs of men and gods they have com to rule over…” Telemechus doubts the power of the gods.

More about Telemechus in The Odyssey

Open Document