Fatherly Influences In Odysseus In Homer's Odyssey

Powerful Essays
A fatherly influence is the light that guides a son though his life. This ‘light’ profoundly affects the behavior of a child and prepares him on a road to adulthood. Navigating a dark room without light is difficult. One can get lost and question where he is. This exactly describes most of Telemakhos’ life as he flounders among the suitors, struggling and questioning his identity as Odysseus’ ‘true son.’ He grows up in a difficult environment, learning to mature and deal with the suitors. When Odysseus reveals his identity and reunites with his son in Book XVI, he and Telemakhos establish a father and son relationship. Telemakhos becomes Odysseus’ true son by regarding him as a role model. Odysseus becomes a figure in whom Telemachus can place…show more content…
Oblivious to his father’s disguise, Telemakhos treats him kindly and puts him temporarily in the care of Eumaios the swineherd. Athena then suddenly reveals Odysseus, clad with clean clothes, to his son. Telemakhos, not realizing that the stranger is his father, takes him for a god and begs mercy. Although Odysseus tries to tell him that he is his father, Telemakhos denies the fact as he thinks he is being deceived. “You cannot be my father Odysseus! Meddling spirits conceived this trick to twist the knife in me!” (295). Clearly, his time spent among the suitors had influenced him to distrust the words of others. When Odysseus proves that he is his father, they reunite and weep until sundown. Normally, it is peculiar to immediately trust a person after a few sentences of proof, much less share a plan together. It is that natural bond of trust that exists between a parent and child. Because they are father and son, Telemakhos is able to casually accept the guidance and commands of his father. Odysseus says to Telemakhos, “If son of mine you are and blood of mine, let no one hear Odysseus is about. Neither Laertes, nor the swineherd here…” (299). As Odysseus’s true son, he ensures his father that he can be depended…show more content…
During Book II, Telemakhos straightens up and sets up a resolution to get rid of the suitors. He starts by telling the suitors his resolution to rid them from his house, as they are consuming his supplies and suiting his mother. One time, instead of shaking the hands of the suitors and going back with them, he refuses to shake it, symbolizing his objection to their influence. He begins by assuming a commanding attitude and acting as the true ruler of Odysseus’ home. He affirms his position in power like a prince although many suitors laugh and ignore him. In Book XVII, Telemakhos calls on the suitors to give Odysseus, who is disguised, loaves of bread: “I call on you to give … not that in truth you have such care at heart, your heart is all in feeding, not in giving” (324). Much like Odysseus, Telemachus gives forceful rebukes towards the misbehavior and insults of the suitor. One lad named Ktesippos wanted to pester Odysseus more and threw a cow’s foot at him. After Odysseus dodged the throw, his son threatens and reprimands him. “Ktesippos, lucky for you, by heaven, not have hit him! …else you’d have my lance-head in your belly” (385). Telemakhos’ ability to stand up to the insults and deal with the suitors is quite mature. One time when a suitor provoked him with jokes about his friends, saying that he should throw him into a slave ship, Telemakhos simply ignored them. One moment that
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