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Telemachus In Odysseus In Homer's Odyssey '

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When Athena persuades Telemachus to muster up the courage to stand up against the suitors, she contrasts him with Agamemnon’s son, Orestes. She advises Telemachus to stop “‘cling[ing] to [his] boyhood any longer’” and man up to tell off his mother's suitors for being so ill-mannered (1.341). Yet, she describes Orestes’ killing of Aegisthus and tells Telemachus that he earned glory “‘throughout the world’” from defending himself against his father’s killer (1.343). Athena’s comparison between Telemachus and Orestes implies that she cares enough about Telemachus to compare him to someone who wanted justice for his father. Her choice to contrast him with Orestes also conveys that she cares about Odysseus and Telemachus finding him. After Athena’s…show more content…
Menelaus illustrates this theme as soon as Telemachus and Mentes arrive. He saw the stranger and immediately “wav[ed] them on in welcome” and “urged them to sit” (3.39). Following his warm greeting, he offers Telemachus and Mentes wine to pray to the god Poseidon. They kindly oblige demonstrating respect to the host. Before their departure, Menelaus gives Telemachus and Mentes a parting gift before they leave. While begging Menelaus to reveal all the gruesome details about war, Telemachus addresses him as “‘King Menelaus, captain of armies’” (4.353). His choice of epithet implies that not only is Menelaus an admirable leader, but that Telemachus views him as an authoritative figure. When Menelaus hears about Penelope and her impolite suitors, he uses an epic simile to compare their crude behavior as weak like a doe who “‘beds down her fawns/in a mighty lions den’” (4.374-375). The simile continues to suggest that after the lion finds the fawns in his den, he gives them “‘a ghastly bloody death’” (4.378). This comparison insinuates that by associating the suitors with a doe, they are weak-minded. Meanwhile, Odysseus is referred to as the mighty lion who slaughters them after finding them in his
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