Telemachus Fight For Honor In Homer's The Odyssey

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elemachus’ Fight for Honor
The Odyssey, written by the Greek Poet Homer, tells the story of Odysseus’ journey returning home from the Trojan War. The beginning of the book starts with Telemakhos, son of Odysseus. He gives a speech to the men of Ithaca at an assembly he has called for the first time since his father has been absent. Telemakhos has a change of character and needs the help from the men to take back control of his home and his self-respect. Before he presents the speech, the men of Ithaca viewed him as a timid young boy who wouldn’t stand up for what he believed in and now that he is suddenly taking on the character of a strong confident man, no one is taking him seriously. Even though Telemakhos presents his speech well, it was
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Telemakhos talks about the great leader that once ruled the town of Ithaca, Odysseus. Telemachus’ opens up the speech by saying, “My distinguished father is lost, / who ruled among you once, mild as a father” (X 49-50). In this line he states that his father was a “mild” ruler. He reminds the men of Ithaca how Odysseus was a gentle ruler to them all and now the men of Ithaca aren’t giving him the same respect by allowing the suitors to disrespect his home, his wife and son. He also appeals to the men’s emotions by stating “We have no strong Odysseus to defend us, / and as to putting up a fight ourselves- we’d only show our incompetence in arms” (X 63-65). This is expressing Telemakhos’ desperation because he knows that he does not have the ability to defeat the suitors himself and take back control of his home. In addition, he says, “Think of the talk in the islands all around us, / and fear the wrath of the Gods, / or they may turn, and send you some devilry” (X 70-72). Telemakhos says this to make the men of Ithaca think about their immortal fame (kleos). If they allow this to happen in Odysseus’ home without intervening, their eternal reputation would be tarnished. Kleos was extremely important to the Greeks; it was something all men wished to have. Telemakhos also referred to the gods to appeal to his audiences’ emotions by claiming that if he did not get assistants in what he is asking of the men…show more content…
He believes that if he can make the men feel sorry for him for what him and his mother are going through that they will help him. He says, “Let me lament in peace / my private loss” (X 75-76) Telemakhos is simply asking the suitors to leave his home so that him and his mother may mourn their loss by themselves. This is also a way Telemakhos uses sympathy to make his audience feel remorseful for allowing this to happen in his home. He also says, “Is this your way of taking it out on me, / giving free rein to these young men?” (X 78-79) Telemakhos asks this question to make it appear he is unaware if he has done any wrong to the Akhaians and his punishment is the suitors obstructing his home. He wants the men to feel sympathetic to him because of how the suitors are treating his home in hopes they will help take back control over his property. Though Telemakhos is acting as if he is powerless, the fact that he has given this speech shows that he is serious about the problems that remain in his
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