Telemachus Life In Odysseus In Homer's Odyssey

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Telemachus’ life serves as the gateway to Odysseus’ legacy. The egocentric nature in which Telemachus describes Odysseus’ assumed fate strengthens the idea that Odysseus’ legacy lies in Telemachus’ life on earth. The idea of “great fame for years to come” is reflected through Telemachus’ life because Telemachus is both the physical and the figurative link between Odysseus and the mortal, living world (Ody. I.279). Telemachus’ mention of the gods’ “vengeance” by killing Odysseus elaborates on a more general juxtaposition – the gods, who are immortal, control humans’ mortality (Ody. 272). However, the gods don’t have control over a legacy, as storytelling is a human activity. In this sense, ironically, the power of mortality overcomes immortality. Importantly, Telemachus’ description of Odysseus’ fame is rooted in his death. The distinction between mortals and immortals lies in the idea that immortals can’t have a legacy, as immortals will physically live forever. Similar to Telemachus’ lament, Odysseus’ view of his impending death reveals a greater importance …show more content…

Elpenor’s plea for remembrance proves that even though the soul is somewhat immortal, remembrance as a mortal holds more significance, including honoring the body. The treatment of Elpenor’s body is important because it is the truest representation of mortality, the ultimate distinction between gods and mortals. Elpenor alludes to “those you left behind” when speaking to Odysseus as an emotional and personal appeal of persuasion (Ody. XI.73). Odysseus’ family, especially Telemachus, who will live past him, is his link to immortality through mortals, which Elpenor is asking for. Elpenor explains that his death was due in part to “an angry god,” indicating the gods had control over his death (Ody. XI.67). Through Odysseus, Elpenor gains control of his legacy, which unlike death, is not controlled by the

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