How successful is the "Telemacheia" as an introduction to the events of the rest of the Odyssey?
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How successful is the "Telemacheia" as an introduction to the events of the rest of the Odyssey? The Telemacheia structurally is undoubtly made of Telemachus and his conflict with suitors, his travels and general impotence. The poet of Odyssey immediately establishes the story as ethical and theological basis for his story. Since a speech of Zeus and assembly of gods, introduces this, almost in the first lines of Odyssey and in relatively abstract language by using: "What a lamentable thing it is that men should blame the gods and regard us as the source of their troubles. When it is their own transgression..." which mainly emphasise on human responsibilities. The gods do not enter in human scene to affect the action. To put it in perspective, in earlier books, after describing the full setting, then the first speech in both assemblies is made by an important person, expressing an important issue, which in this case it would be Zeus and Telemachus. Who both are then confronted with people who may got different opinion as they are expressed themselves clearly afterwards. Yet both issues seem to be the same, about Odysseus, but how each group react to it, is a different story. How gods react to this matter is more seem to be blaming Odysseus, and how gods are crossed with him as, one of them says;" That is why, ever since Polyphemuse was blinded, Poseidon the Earth-Shaker has kept Odyssey in exile."
Helen for example, her commanding presence has already established in the elaborate detailed description of her entrance; as her style has been descried as "her lofty perfume room" or" With her golden distaff", which gives us an impression of Homer drawing not only Helen as a noble women. Helen is indeed an extraordinary women who now is seeing her errors of her ways, but still confident in her own judgment, as she says with her entrance; ..."When you Achaean came to Troy with love in your heart for my sake, shameless creature I was!" Which still shows her being disgraceful and shamefaced, but her elegance and royaltiness is never in doubt. To look at Helen in other ways, she is a women who also wants to be rich and her preference to rich things has been also shown as: "His wife gave Helen beautiful gifts for herself, including a golden..." which shows her popularity and respect in friendship. Odyssey is fulfilled with the mixture of women; such as Penelope, who surely plays a great rule through the poem. She's more characterizes as an isolated, but miserable women; as she prays to Athene;" Save my dear son for me, and guard him from harm at the hands of ..." which portraits her, simply as a virtuous women. Yet she is a woman who remained loyalty to he husband and surely her intelligence is doubtless. She says:"Now my beloved son, for whom I grieve more than his father..."Which portrait her not careless, but a loyal and responsible women.
which directs us to mainly Athene assisting Telemachus. However, other protagonists aren't really aware of it. What is more to irony, is the fact that suitors seem to behave from the highest to the lowest point in audience's mind, so as their power till the end. But in other hand for Telemachus, they seem to fall from the lowest to the highest. Homer uses more interesting techniques before Odysseus appears in the story, he has been described by Menelaus, that he always used to disguise himself, as he says;" He slunk into the broad street of the enemy city, disguised himself as a beggar..." which gives us Odysseus's capacity to disguise himself and to control himself and the others. This technique also foreshadows Homer's description of Odysseus's description of himself and his adventures, as Menelaus says;" For all the Achaeans who stove at Troy, it was Odyssey who strove the hardest and achieved the most." Which clearly turns audience's attention to Odysseus back in Troy. Not only that we get the suspense from Telemachus, by keep mentioning his father as;" If my father was here..." which means we get not only factual and characterising material, but also emotional responses to the hero as well. To put "Telemacheia" in perspective, I must say Telemachus's conflict with his mother's suitors, his general impotence and his travels which gave the reader a full background, made it a very successful preparation which has been carefully mixed with continuous action, which again made this story not only appealing, but motivating and out of the ordinary. 1
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