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. We see her craft full ways in which she buys more time to keep the suitors away. The way Penelope is described is delicate and feminine,’ her shining veil across her cheeks’. We are also shown how much love Penelope has for her husband Odysseus as she still weeps over his absence and her heart still longs for his to come home, clinging on to every last bit of hope. Penelope and Helen are prenented in similar features. Helen, alike Penelope is also described as an elegant figure looking like ‘Artemis with her golden distaff’. There is also a resemblance how Helen is spinning yarn in Book 3 alike Penelope in Book 1. Helen is shown to be intelligent alswell as beautiful and caring. We are shown this side of hger when she is making the medicine for Telemachus to help his with his grieving for his father.