Book two shows Telemachus believing more in his father; however he still hasn’t come out of his royal shell. He takes Athena’s advice and dresses like Odysseus. With war-like attire, he assembles the suitors. An angry speech later leaves the suitors in shock. This shows Telemachus’ dominance and how easily influenced he is. Finally Telemachus decides to put the suitors in their place with shows real potential to his confidence growing. The suitors decided to blame Penelope for their extended stay by her excessive teasing as well as false promises. Telemachus refuses to believe their words as he stays loyal to his mother. He tries to protect her and gets back to the matter at hand. Telemachus leaves in the night on his journey however he does tell maid Eurycleia his plans. Sworn to secrecy she is unable to tell worrying Penelope. This also shows the trust and respect Telemachus has for his mother as he is trying to cause her as less pain as possible. We can see how loyal Odysseus’ family is to each other: Penelope refusing to remarry and Telemachus travelling to find the truth even after the years have passed.
Book three leads us into Nestor’s palace (a friend of Odysseus) to which we see Telemachus still being portrayed as a coward. In only an overnight journey, he is extremely nervous about offending the wise man with his questions or insulting him. The Greek stereotype of a man is a brave, young, courageous person. They must be almost God-like by obtaining great traits to show heroic strengths. Telemachus is definitely not this stereotype however a lot of Nestor’s sons are. This shows how Nestor’s sons have great kleos and heroic tendencies compared to Telemachus’ potential. Even though Telemachus is almost the opposite of a man in characteristics, he has potential to be as great as his father due to him being called “god-like” even when his traits would be to differ.
Once again, Athena leads Telemachus to Nestor’s palace. Telemachus questions Athena on whether he is allowed to question an elder ego proving Telemachus’ worries and yet morals to traditional actions. Peisistratus, one of Nestor’s sons, instantly takes them by the hand to offer them great xenia (forced hospitality) and welcomes them in thus showing how a young male of the same age as Telemachus is more confidant and braver than himself. This could show Telemachus’ potential when it comes to becoming a man. As soon as Nestor mentions the battle of Troy, it brings a tear to Telemachus’ eye. This is because of the multiple similarities Nestor points out between Telemachus and Odysseus, once again showing his potential to be his father. Telemachus is relying on Athena to help him without fail.
By book four we start to see kleos in action. Upon meeting Menalus (an old king who also fought beside Odysseus in Troy) we see that Athena has left Telemachus. This shows how braver Telemachus is as he starts to become independent as he is ready to meet Menalus. Peistratus is still accompanying Telemachus and is the first to speak to Menalus. His role is to support Telemachus and begins to state why they are there as well as introducing the King to Telemachus. We see Telemachus’ “heroic” stature coming through as he refuses Menalus’ glorious gift. With charm flowing from him, he takes the news of his father in his stride as he hears about Clypso’s island.
Overall, Telemachus changes from a coward who spent 20 years daydreaming about a father he has never met to a strong god-like protagonist. Although he is not fully a man yet nor a hero, he is showing true potential as he is building his kleos up. He will become like his father if his progress continues. Telemachus is being turned into a man with the help of Athena and family friends.