“The Odyssey” – Telemachus’ Journey
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When does a male child go a adult male? This rite of transition is explored in Robert Fagles’ interlingual rendition of Homer’s heroic poem verse form. The Odyssey. Odysseus ( male monarch of Ithaca ) fought in the Trojan War for 10 old ages and after the autumn of Troy he spent the following 10 old ages seeking to acquire place. He left behind an infant boy. Telemachus. and a devoted married woman. Penelope. Although they longed for Odysseus’ return. Penelope and Telemachus were the perfect hosts to wayward aliens – even as their estate became overrun with chesty suers – work forces purpose on get marrieding Penelope and taking ownership of the throne. Athena. goddess and girl of Zeus. is instrumental in promoting Telemachus to get down his journey to adulthood stating. “You must non cleaving to your boyhood any longer – / it’s clip you were a adult male. ” ( 1. 341 – 342 ) .
Young Telemachus first brushs Athena. disguised as Mentes. boy of Anchialus. while he was sitting among the suers. enduring from a heavy bosom and woolgathering about his male parent. He welcomes her into his place and Athena stirs emotion within Telemachus by stating. “You’re genuinely Odysseus’ boy? You’ve sprung up so! / Uncanny resemblance… The caput. and the all right eyes – / I see him now. ” ( 1. 240 – 242 ) . By admiting his resemblance to Odysseus. Athena rouses. within Telemachus. the strong emotions for the male parent he hardly knows. and initiates the rise of interior strength that Telemachus must develop in order to face his impending challenges. It is clear that Telemachus responds positively to Athena’s encouragement when he instructs his amazed female parent to be given to her ain undertakings. declaring “As for giving orders. work forces will see to that. but I most of all: I hold the reins of power in this house. ” ( 1. 412 – 414 ) .
Telemachus. now exposing the initial marks of self-respect and finding and populating life with intent for the first clip. orders the suers to return to their ain places. Unfortunately. regard has non yet been earned and his words are met with doggedness as the suers blatantly refuse to go forth. mentioning that his female parent was taking them on with false hopes of matrimony. Although Telemachus is get downing to demo marks of adulthood as he begins to develop strength and go collected. the suers abuse and twit him. It is besides interesting to indicate out that his devoted nurse still sees him as a kid and objects to his go forthing when he informs her that he is traveling to seek for his male parent. In malice of their responses. Telemachus remains determined to put out on his journey. Possibly the accomplishment of adulthood reaps the wages of acknowledgment and regard and it is this. in add-on to happening his male parent. which Telemachus seeks.
Before Telemachus’ journey commences. the Gods assemble in Zeus’s halls. retrieving the narrative of Aegisthus. who was killed by Agamemnon’s boy. Orestes. and Zeus provinces:
“Ah how unblushing – the manner these persons blame the Gods.
From us entirely. they say. come all their wretchednesss. yes.
but they themselves. with their ain foolhardy ways.
intensify their strivings beyond their proper portion. ”
( 1. 37 – 40 )
Like a kid who blames others for their mistakes. Telemachus lacks the wisdom that comes with experience and age and blames Zeus for the day of reckoning that adult male faces. This could explicate why throughout The Odyssey. the gods’ engagement remains evident with every measure of Telemachus’ journey – their actions and commentary of import to the development of Telemachus’ character every bit good as to the lifeblood of the verse form. Athena for illustration. ushers Telemachus on his journey. but Telemachus is responsible for his ain actions.
It is with Athena’s support that Telemachus reaches Pylos and meets Nestor. male monarch of the Pylians and the oldest of the Achaean captains. Telemachus introduces himself to Nestor as Godhead Odysseus’ boy and begs to hear the truth about his long-lost male parent. Nestor ab initio recalls his memories and recounts the war against the Trojans. before he acknowledges the resemblance of Telemachus to his cunning male parent. Nestor replies ; “Your manner with words – it’s merely like his – I’d swear / no child could of all time talk like you. so disposed. so revealing. ” ( 3. 139 – 140 ) . At which clip. Helen. girl of Zeus and married woman of Menelaus. enters the room and gazes upon her husband’s visitants. her announcement. directed to Telemachus. confirms Nestor’s beliefs:
… “My bosom tells me
to come right out and state I’ve ne’er seen such a similitude.
neither in adult male nor adult female – I’m amazed at the sight.
To the life he’s like the boy of great Odysseus.
certainly he is Telemachus! The male child that hero left
a baby in arms…”
( 4. 155 – 159 )
This statement is really revealing as it defines non merely the visual aspect of the great Odysseus. but besides the boy he left behind. Furthermore. it begins to develop a timeline of actions by denoting that Odysseus left place when Telemachus was merely a babe. Nestor recognizes that Odysseus’ visual aspect. vivacity. and personality are evident in his offspring. Telemachus. This is promoting to Telemachus as he hears that he resembles the great male monarch Odysseus. As Telemachus imperativenesss for intelligence of what has become of his male parent. Telemachus learns that his male parent may yet be alive and held confined by a goddess-nymph named Calypso. He so glorifies the strong will of Orestes and encourages Telemachus to make the same: “And you. my friend – / how tall and fine-looking I see you now – be brave. you excessively. / so work forces to come will sing your congratulationss down the old ages. ” ( 3. 226 – 227 ) .
Merely as The Odyssey focuses on Odysseus as a mighty soldier it besides increasingly hints that Telemachus will besides be a great soldier in the close hereafter. as the suers plot Telemachus’ decease. As Telemachus hears more about how he resembles king Odysseus. Telemachus’ sense of esteem for his male parent intensifies and his interior strength develops. albeit unbeknownst to him. As Telemachus is maturating he openly assumes the duties worthy non merely of the Prince of Athens. but besides of a devoted boy. His concerns turn for his female parent and his place: “My house is being devoured. my rich farms destroyed. / my castle crammed with enemies. butchering on and on / my droves of sheep and shuffling longhorn cowss. ” ( 4. 356 – 358 ) .
Telemachus learns. through each brush with non merely the companions of his male parent but besides of the Gods. of Odysseus’ sheer craft and humor. Regardless of what is go oning around him. Telemachus remains thoughtful and considerate of others. For illustration. he invites the fleeting and divine visionary. Theoclymenus. to fall in his ship even as he approaches the Jagged Islands. unsure if he will confront decease. Telemachus commands the ship. shouting out bids to his shipmates. How far he has come from the immature male child who sat among the suers. watching them recklessly devour his cowss and destruct his place!
Telemachus is intriguing as he reaches adulthood amidst mounting inquiries sing the gods’ involvement in the persons. Steady. poised Telemachus. the gallant boy of king Odysseus. becomes a adult male worthy of regard and esteem. He turns out to be all-around and respected by his equals and retainers. non to advert by his male parent and female parent. He fought side-by-side with the hero male parent he helped to convey place and slaughtered the suers who one time insulted and taunted him. Well-traveled and full of life experience. Telemachus left place a male child and came place a adult male.
Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. . Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin Books. 1996.