• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why does homer begin the Odyssey with the Telemacheia

Extracts from this document...


Why does homer begin the Odyssey with the Telemacheia? The Odysseus is an account of the travels of the legend odysseus written by the poet Homer The reason for Homer beginning the Odyssey with the Telechacheia is to emphasise the dramatic importance of Odysseus. In the absence of Odysseus it is clear that his city is suffering without him there as a leader. We are firstly introduced to some of the important characters in the Odyssey; Odysseus and his family, Penelope and Telemachus. In the absence of Odysseus we see that the palace has been over run by suitors who are all hoping for a chance of winning Penelope. The suitors show disrespect and ignorance towards Odysseus, eating his food, sleeping in his home and trying to sleep with his wife. They do not even show the slightest bit of remorse for his family who are morning in his absence. Instead they abuse the hospitality offered to them by Penelope and Telemacheus and show no respect at all to them. All they have on their mind is the thought of winning Penelope and her power. They are more like intruders than guests. Although in the presence of the suitors we are shown the true colours of Penelope who still has hope for the return of Odysseus. ...read more.


Telemachus shows Athena hospitality in addressing her by 'friend' and does not even ask who she is but insists that she should eat first. Telemachus is said to be ashamed that the stranger should be kept waiting. He is obviously ashamed of the suitors' insolent behaviour. Homer emphasises the rudeness and ill-mannered behaviour of the Suitors using phrases such as 'swaggering'. This gives the impression that they are drunk and being drunk in front of a visitor is extremely discourteous. The suitors show the aspect of being hubris because them think of them selves as better people them they are. Homer begins the Odyssey at the site of Ithaca. This is ironic as Ithaca is the home land of Odysseus and where is long enduring voyage will end. By introducing Ithaca so soon in the story the reader is able to relate to why Odysseus is longing to go home so much. We are introduced to his l wife the beautiful Penelope who is still clinging on to her last bit of hope and we are introduced to his son the thoughtful Telemachus who has now grown into a young, strong hostile man. Odysseus has been gone for nearly 20 years and has not seen is son since he was just a baby. ...read more.


Odysseus is a good role model for his son because he is always striving to do his best. We learn this from Menalaus who talks to Telemachus about the great men he fought with who were killed in battle. Menaluaus is an extremely wealthy man, 'The whole place gleams with bronze and gold, amber and silver and ivory'. Telemachus is gob smacked at the quanity of treasures and compares Menalaus's home to the court of Zeus on Olympus. Telemachus is wealthy himself and for him to be blown back by another mans riches really emphasises just how rich Menalaus is. Although, Menalaus quotes that he would,' give a third of his former estate, if those friends of mine were still alive.. But for all the Achacans who strove at troy it was Odysseus who strove the hardest and achieved the most'. Nestor talks of how much Telemachus resembles his father Odysseus in the way he talks and his charming looks. There is also a similarity between the two as Athena is showing the same affection to Telemachus as she once did for Odysseus helping him by putting courage into his heart when talking to Nestor. Although there is also a contrast in that Telemachus does not stand up to the suitors and tell them to leave like Odysseus would do but allows them to walk all over him and his mother. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. How important is Book 11 to the overall meaning of The Odyssey?

    The various farm related references are possibly used to show that these fierce and mighty leaders are still humble. It is known that Odysseus kept animals, which the suitors ate, at his home in Ithaca. A curse on the House of Atreus is held responsible for all that happened in Aegisthus' palace, as Zeus is 'a relentless foe'.

  2. The Odyssey by Homer

    'Iliad', there are some that offer crisp images that have a powerful effect on the surrounding narrative. Critics have noted the effects of many of the epic similes: the pebbles clinging on to the octopus' tentacles give us a vivid, negative impression of the skin being torn from Odysseus' fingers;

  1. Select one important episode/figure (human or divine) from The Odyssey and show what contribution ...

    We have seen many examples of Athene moving the story to the next stage and her explanation of the past and future events of The Odyssey.

  2. What impression is given of Aeneas as a man and as a leader in ...

    Once again Aeneas seems to fall short of the Homeric model and it is worth remembering the value which Odysseus places on household, his actions throughout the final section of the Odyssey are motivated by a determination to secure not only his material possessions, but also to protect Penelope and Telemachus from the threat of the Suitors.

  1. Free essay

    In which of the two epics are the female characters more carefully described and ...

    She is very independent and strong. She does however have the features of an undesirable character, such as her brutish appearance, and she is also an enemy. After analysis of Camilla, the reader is left confused, because she does have the strength and independence of the women in the Odyssey, even though she lives in the world of Aeneas.

  2. Whom do you admire more as a leader – Odysseus in the Odyssey or ...

    Though criticism is made of Odysseus' crew for opening the guest gift from Aeolus (it is also partly Odysseus' fault for not confiding in them enough), Queen Arete has similar reservations concerning the sailors taking Odysseus home. In Book 13, she provides him with a "strong box" for the Phaeacian

  1. What qualities does Odysseus show in the episodes he relates in Books 9-12? Does ...

    Ajax, the personification of bi�, doesn't even speak to Odysseus their rift is so great. In the Iliad, Ajax lost the competition for armour and committed suicide. Odysseus would never do the same due to his endurance and his ability to continue on even after having been crushed by a disaster or calamity (e.g.

  2. Was Julius Caesar an effective leader?

    Republic.9 But he was not a man who clamoured for the adoration of the patricians. Early on he established himself as a populares*. Prior to his first major position of authority as Consul Caesar held lesser positions within the Republic: Aedile and Pontifex Maximus**.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work