The Character of Telemachus in Homer’s Odyssey

The Character of Telemachus in Homer’s Odyssey

Telemachus displays a great amount of courage, respect, and responsibility in Homer’s Odyssey. Orestes serves as a role model for the yet unwilling and immature Telemachus. Orestes situations and actions somewhat parallels to the situation in Ithaca. Orestes, son of Agamemnon, performed actions, which inspired Telemachus to deal with the suitors and absence of his father. Although these characters circumstances are somewhat different they both uphold one significant quality of determination during there troubled times.

After being away for many years Agamemmnon finally returned to his homeland. He was greeted with an unusual welcome. While being away for a long period of time his wife Clymnestra had proved to be unfaithful. Aegisthus, Agamemnon’s first cousin, has managed to seduce Clytemnestra and the two conspired to murder Agamemnon on his return home. Upon returning, Aegisthus invites the victorious king of kings and his men to a feast. It is at this time that Aegisthus and his men ambush Agamemnon, and kill him. Aegisthus and Clytemnestra now become king and queen of Mycene.

Eight years after Orestes, now come of age, returns to Mycene. Filled with revenge Orestes avenges his father’s death by killing both Aegisthus and Clytemnestra. While being away from his home and kingdom for over fifteen years, the Suitors take over Odysseus’s home. These suitors insist that they have the right to stay there as they wait for the day when Penelope will decide who she will marry. During this time the Suitors eat Penelope out of house and home, play musical instruments all night and are rude and disruptive.

Confused and unaware of how to deal with these Suitors, Athena comes to Telemachus and tells him to go on a journey in search of his father. Inspired by Orestes Telemachus goes on the journey to prove that his capable of being a strong person and willing to uphold his father’s honor and integrity. The underlying reason for taking this journey is so that Telemachus will grow and mature into a man. These two characters are placed in two different situations; yet seem to exhibit a great amount of determination.

Orestes serves as a role model because Telemachus believes that what Orestes did defined a strong and loyal man. The Suitors can be compared to Aegithus because just as Aegithus robed Clymnestra away from her husband, the Suitors rob Penelope and Telemachus of their home. The idea that Orestes tried to mend this problem leads Telemachus to do the same. Although he has no intention of killing them, he believes that if he brings his father back, the problem of the Suitors will disappear.

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The Character of Telemachus in Homer's Odyssey. (2020, Jan 19). Retrieved February 23, 2020, from