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The Realtionship Of A Father And Son In Homer’s Odyssey

1027 words - 4 pages

With time come change, change in the human experience. That fact applies no differently to literature, specifically reflected through reading ancient prose with a modern lens. A relevant example is the relationship of a father and son in Homer’s Odyssey. Through characterization on the surface, this significant relationship appears quite distinct in contrast to such relationships today. However, these quite humane and sentimental relationships are no different than those experienced today—those of a father and son. Quite frankly, what is true of humans in the ancient world is true to humans today, ability to feel such potent emotion, to experience such a significant relationship yields the human need of affection and connection, as reflected with the relationship of the father and the son.
When Odysseus reveals himself to his son, Telemachus in book sixteen, the reaction of both characters is extremely humane. This monumental acquaintance is a time of sentiment and emotion for both characters; the foundation a relationship of a father and a son. Both characters really get down on their knees for each other and despite his hubris with the rest of the community, Odysseus breaks down at the sight of his son, “throwing/his arms around this marvel of a father/Telemachus began to weep./ salt tears/rose from the wells of longing in both men,/and cries burst from both” (16, 253-257). Until this monumental point, the reader never sees this side of Odyssues, this emotional and truly down-to-earth side, which is compelled by the bonding of his son, the immediate depth one feels for the other. Being only acquainted to his father by distance, and, quite merely, hearsay, Telemachus feels connected to his dad, but now through his own eyes, he sees the truth of his father, a respectable hero; likewise with Odysseus. Just as in today’s society, the relation of father and son is truly an identity builder. It is a substance filled human relationship which involved much, almost as the modern day phrase “keep it real” suggests, the true emotion, a sense of sanctuary, protection and understanding between the two, almost a notion of equality, recognizing each for his talents, finding respectability thereof. During this bond, Telemachus fills a gap that had lingered in his identity, especially through the foundation of his life, the bleeding gap of not having a father present, to fill that gap, that gap of understanding and companionship. A germane example would be that moment in today’s world that a parentless child, being instilled from place to place, is finally able to call a family his home. It is comparable to that emotional bonding time of that child, who has just been gifted with the ability to make that connection. It is that time of true human emotion that fills not only the moment, but the void, just as experienced by Odysseus and Telemachus. This special bond is so significant, the void thereof can be deemed impossible to fill. The emotion portrayed...

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