Telemachus is depicted to go through a form of transformation throughout the Telemacheia. The Odyssey portrays Telemachus’ awakening to a new life by contrasting the degage passive Telemachus, shown initially, with the more assertive Telemachus shown throughout the books.
This rebirth is sparked by the effort Goddess Athena exerts on the. Not only does she help gather courage for him but also physically helps Telemachus in his journeys to uncover the fate of his great father. She also, most importantly, instills in him hope of his father’s return. And after each journey the young Telemachus gains more experience in dealing with people and much courage as well. This rebirth is Telemachus’ maturation from a boy to man more like his renown father, Odysseus.
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The first impressions of Telemachus Homer makes on the reader are of Telemachus complaining and whining and yet not taking any actions to seek the fate of his father, who could eliminate the problem of the Suitors. In book 1 line 184, Telemachus makes a comment about the suitors leeching off the wealth of the Ithacan palace and whining about having no hope left because the great Odysseus had died an unfortunate death. He has no hope and never even considers the idea of he himself taking control and making moves to fix the problems that have arisen. In book 1, lines 266 through 284, Telemachus continues to whine to Athena about his misfortune and the dreadful position the Gods have positioned him in. He questions who will save the kingdom when the Great Odysseus is dead. In Book 1, lines 131 to 137, Telemachus continues to daydream and wonder of what his father would have done if he were here, while the vulgar suitors amuse themselves with the assets of the palace and worry Penelope. In sum, Telemachus is shown to be a very passive character who never thinks of perhaps taking control of situation but instead daydreams, whines, and complains about the situation. This is so until the benevolent Athena intervenes and incites his rebirth.
Athena sets off Telemachus’s growth in copious ways. She infuses in him the belief that Odysseus very well may be alive. The first of instance of her directly doing so would be in lines 228 to 231 in book 1, where she directly informs him that great Odysseus is not dead and that he is just held captive by savages on an island. Then she also guides him in what to do and lectures him that he must not be so be so passive and must transform from a young boy to a man. In book one, lines 312 to 351, Athena lays a plan out for the young Telemachus. She tells him to call the assembly and to make journeys to King Nestor and Sparta to talk to Menalaus. She tells him that if he finds out Odysseus’s return is possible she tells him to control the kingdom until he returns and that if Odysseus is dead, Telemahcus should kill the suitors and assume control of the kingdom.
In book one, lines 341-342, Athena makes the statement, “You must not cling to your boyhood any longer” it’s time you were a man. Telemachus replies to her lecture in book one, lines 352 to 355, “Oh stranger, indeed I will. You’ve conseled me with so much kindness now, like a father to a son.” This shows the first sign of Telemachus’s change. Athena also helps in numerous other cases, by for example motivating him at the assembly in the form of Mentor. She also aids him in getting together a crew and ship to set out on the journeys he must take. Athena assists Telemachus and makes his rebirth possible. It is no surprise book 1 of the odyssey is title “Athena Inspires the Telemachus after being inspired by Athena, shows the result of his change in copious number situations, which are too many to list. Telemachus immediately shows change after Athena’s lecture in book 1 by settting sail to the site of the assembly. There he courageously and intelligently quarrels with other kings and suitors about how to fix the problems that have stricken Ithaca. He then sets sail to Pylos to gather info about the fate of his father from King Nestor. Athena then comments in book 2 line 16, “Telemachus, no more shyness, this is not the time!” With these words in thought, Telemachus courageously approaches the great King and inquires about the fate of his father. King Nestor reveals what he knows and sends Telemachus off on a journey to Melenaeus, who might know more of the fate of Odysseus. To his joy, Telemachus finds success in Sparta as he finds out about the truth of his father and that he is still alive.
Telemachus’s complaining and whining portrayed in Book 1 of The Odyssey shows the young immature passive Telemachus. After his first confrontation with Athena in guise, and hearing her lecture, Telemachus is essentially reborn and decides take up the plan Athena suggests. He does so with courage and intellect and his hard work brings success upon him. His rebirth shows his transformation into a man similar to his father, the great Odysseus.
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