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The Odyssey

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Maturity is a gradual process through which one grows from the experiences in one's own life as well as those taught by someone with a wealth of maturity. One can never gain too much experience. In The Odyssey, Telemachus, son of Odysseus, was in search of his father, who had not been home or heard from in years. Telemachus remained home and endured the abuses from the suitors, which prompted him to take action. With the aid of Athena, we clearly saw Telemachus' gradual progression into manhood. At the onset of the story, Telemachus' growth was sparked in Ithaca, intensified in Pylos and Lacedaimon, and flourished upon his return to Ithaca with his father by his side. Taking the active approach can often lead one down an interesting path in life. In The Odyssey, Telemachus was first encountered in the early stages of his development and was perceivced as an immature young man on the verge of manhood. His father had been wandering the earth for years without anyone knowing of his whereabouts, and Telemachus still had hope that his father would one day return to his home, thanks to Athena's encouraging words. ...read more.


By proving his worthiness, Nestor told him the story of Agamemnon, a king who was unlawfully murdered by Aigisthos, who married his wife. Agamemnon's son, Orestes, returned from Athens years later to avenge his fathers death. Nestor warned young Telemachus that unless he returned home and sought revenge on the suitors who had barged into his estate and squatted on his land, he may have found himself in the same situation as Orestes once was. 8 With Nestor's advice, Telemachus sailed to Lacedaimon in search of King Menelaos. Upon his arrival, Telemachus was greeted with gifts from the king. He accepted them graciously, for he had never been greeted with gifts in his life. When he and Menelaos conversed, Telemachus mentioned how his father respected him a great deal. The words Telemachus uttered prompted Menelaos to acknowledge his speaking ability, not to mention the likeness to his father. "My friend, you speak like a man of sense, you are older than your years; your father is just the same, you get it from him."9 Telemachus stayed with Menelaos, enjoying his time as a guest to the fullest extent. One morning, Telemachus was summoned by Athena, and was reminded that he must return to his home immediately, for the suitors continue to eat away at his estate. ...read more.


So you shall know, and tell other men, that doing well is far better than doing ill."13 Evidently, Odysseus recognized that his son had grown into a great man who will one day be recognized throughout the world. The reader realized that even though he was compassionate, Telemachus was no less a man. He had finally flourished into the man he aspired to be from the day he left Ithaca. The growth of Telemachus began in Ithaca, continued onwards in Pylos and Lacedaimon, and came full circle upon his return to Ithaca. Unfortunately, the reader was left wondering what would come of young Telemachus in his future. There was no question as to whether he was mature, only a question of how mature. Comparable to his father? Perhaps, but not just yet. Unlike Odysseus, he had not experienced life in full, for life is a series of many experiences pieced together to create our existence, and one grows as one experiences. 1Homer. The Odyssey (Translated by W.H.D. Rouse). (Toronto: Penguin Books Canada Ltd., 1937). p. 19. 2 Ibid p.19. 3Homer p.19. 4Ibid p.19. 5Ibid p.32. 6Ibid p.32. 7Homer p. 34. 8Ibid p. 39. 9Ibid p. 48. 10Homer p.231. 11Ibid p. 241. 12Homer p. 250. 13Ibid p. 250. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 2 ...read more.

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