Comparing And Contrasting The Journeys Of Odysseus’ And Telemachus’ In The Odyssey

887 words - 4 pages

Odysseus’ and Telemachus’ journeys or nostos were both very similar and different. They parallel each other in some ways but they are also completely different at other times. Telemachus starts as a younger, less mature boy, and without the presence of his father during his childhood, he becomes a timid, shy and spineless boy who is greatly pampered by his mother. He has even more to achieve, being the son of a world-famous father, and this is a very difficult reputation to live up to. His journey, and after that the killing of the suitors who took advantage of him really show how his journeys and problems throughout the book mature him from being a shy, timid boy into a mature man. Odysseus’ journey also taught him about many things which he had never really experienced before, including suffering, poverty, and other things of that nature. Telemachus and Odysseus have parallel, but different journeys, which drastically change them throughout the epic and they are influenced by many different forces, both human and supernatural. Telemachus matures into a man while Odysseus becomes more wise, and both journey through Greece in search of one another.

Telemachus’ and his father Odysseus’ experiences/journeys parallel each other in many different ways. One way that they are both similar is that they are both very well liked by Athena, who accompanies both on their journeys around Greece. Athena acts as guardian to both father and son. A quote which proves this is I, 85 “In the meantime I will go to Ithaca, to put heart into Odysseus' son Telemachus; I will embolden him to call the Achaeans in assembly, and speak out to the suitors of his mother Penelope, who persist in eating up any number of his sheep and oxen; I will also conduct him to Sparta and to Pylos, to see if he can hear anything about the return of his dear father- for this will make people speak well of him." This quote is spoken by Athena, showing how she cares both for Odysseus and Telemachus. It shows that she wants to help Telemachus mature, gain power that is rightfully his including a higher status in society and a more outspoken personality, find his father, etc. Another way that their journeys parallel is that both experienced very generous examples of xenia, or the Greek code of hospitality. Telemachus experienced this with King Nestor and King Menelaus, which were both very positive experiences for him. With Odysseus, some of the hosts were not very good at following Xenia (Circle, because she turned his men into pigs, Lotus Eaters,...

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