Solon states in The Ages of Man a boy grows from “ A child in his infancy grows his first set of teeth and loses them within seven years” to a man at the age of approximately twenty one ”to show he is growing from youth to a man”. If one were to look at Telemachos and what stage he is in in comparison to Solon’s idea of men, it is a difficult pin to place. He was just a child ten years ago and is now growing into the “man” he is meant to become. Unfortunately he never had a father to show him the way. Telemachos, Odysseus’s son, was the “man” of the household after his father left for the Trojan War. When his father did not return to Ithaca, suitors flooded into his palace, grazing at all his food, and overstaying their welcome. Throughout The Odyssey, Telemachus matures very much so, but in the first four books, there is a definite transition from an immature scared little boy, to the man that revenges the abuse he received at the end of the story.
To begin with, Telemachus was afraid to even approach the suitors of his mother about his yearning for them to be gone. He has also lost hope that his father is still alive, because he truly does not know him. “My mother says indeed I am his. I for my part do not know. Nobody really knows his own father.” (32. 215-216) He speaks these words to Athena who in turn tells Telemachus about his father, and what he should do to find out some information about his father’s whereabouts. According to Solon, Telemachos should be at his mental and physical prowess but instead he is simply a boy who cannot even lead his own house. He needs the push and advice of a stranger for him to decide what to do.
Athena tells Telemachos that “You should not go on clinging to your childhood. You are no longer of an age to do that. (34.296-297) In relation to what Solon says about the third and four stages a man must be matured to a point where he can take on anything and move on to the next stage. Solon’s stages of man are like the progression of any living thing, it must be nurtured and giving the right things in order to grow and move onto the next stage of life. Telemachos has not had the usual progression that most young men of his stature are raised with. He is over taken at a young age with suitors who want to marry Penelope, his mother and rule what should be his father’s kingdom which would someday be passed to him. In order for him to begin to be ready to be a king he must go through the stages of man and discover where he belongs at this point in time.
Telemachos’s first push into manhood is when he announces the assembly that will be held. “Then tomorrow let us all go to the place of assembly, and hold a session, where I will give you my forthright statement, that you go out of my palace and do your feasting elsewhere” (36.372-374) When a boy starts to grow into a man he begins to show signs of defiance and...