Telemakhos’ Personal Odyssey A primary example of personal and emotional growth through a remarkable event is apparent in one of Homer’s most famous novels, The Odyssey. The Odyssey is reveals a series of great adventures that crosses upon Odysseus’ path as he returns home from the Trojan War. Although The Odyssey, was named for the great warrior, Odysseus it cannot be solely regarded as the experience of one person. It is mainly Odysseus’ son, Telemakhos who displays the growth in intellect, responsibility, maturity, and courage. Thus, though the novel revolves mainly around Odysseus it is his son, Telemakhos who gains the most personally through this experience. This is most evident through the first four books of The Odyssey. Aside from functioning as an introduction to The Odyssey, the first four books also serves to follow Telemakhos’ personal development and to exhibit his growing maturity.
The first few books illustrate the growth of Telemakhos’ character. Telemakhos’ father has never had a chance to spend time with him during his younger years. Thus, in the absence of a father figure, Athena’s character serves as a guide to Telemakhos. She gives him the courage and the encouragement that he needs to search for his father. In Book I, it is apparent that the scene is chaos caused by the suitors in Telemakhos’ home. Upon arriving at the scene, Athena says, “What gathering, what feast is this? Why here?…How arrogant they seem.” She encourages for Telemakhos to speak out to the suitors. Although Telemakhos was hesitant he ultimately found the courage to speak to them.
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Using his newfound courage, he firmly told called the suitors, “You suitors of my mother! Insolent men, now we have dined, let us have entertainment and no more shouting……you are to leave this hall.” For the first time, Telemakhos has the daringness to demand for the suitors to leave and this sudden change of behavior by Telemakhos takes the suitors by surprise. Hence, Athena is one of the major catalysts for Telemakhos’ personal and emotional growth. From the conclusion of Book I, it is evident that Telemakhos is beginning his transformation and that he is an important participant in the adventures that occur in The Odyssey. As the story progresses, it becomes more apparent that Telemakhos’ character matures. In Book II, Telemakhos demonstrates his courage and power once again by telling the suitors to leave by asking them, “Where is your indignation? Where is your shame?”Furthermore, Telemakhos expresses his sadness of losing his father and the deterioration of his family, home and life.
He develops and matures from his initial weakness with the suitors and transforms himself into the authoritative.