Telemachus Role In The Odyssey

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Meadowlands is an extremely personal collection, detailing a marriage falling apart and the impending divorce. Louise Glück, however, puts in the perspectives of other characters such as Penelope, Odysseus and Telemachus (all characters from the Iliad or Odyssey. Telemachus’ addition, in particular, not only makes the reader consider more sides and views of the marriage but it also shows the other people generally effected by divorce, such as a child of two people getting a divorce. Telemachus’ role within the book is to be an outside perspective of this marriage, but a constantly changing one, as the character of Telemachus has clear growth and a character arc in a way that the narrator and other characters mentioned do not. When introduced…show more content…
(At this point in time Odysseus had returned.) “Compensations/for perceived/absences and omissions,” shows that Telemachus had grown to a point of not needing his father. This is evident not because there are compensation for absences and omissions (a clear reference to a missing father) but because they are “perceived;” the supposed absences and omission are only thought to exist but do not actually exist in a way that many would expect Telemachus to feel. “My mother/was the sort of woman/who let you know she was suffering and then/denied that suffering since in her view/suffering was what slaves did;” These five lines mark a very clear change in opinion of Penelope in the eyes of Telemachus. He used to smile when she wept (see “Telemachus’ Guilt”) but recognized her suffering and also that she didn’t want to show that she was suffering. He went from trying everything to get a reaction out of his mother in previous poems to trying to “console her,/to relieve her misery.” This marks a clear change in Telemachus’ character. In addition, he didn’t have the same negative reaction that he would have had in previous poems when she rejected him. He simply realized it was in her nature to not want to exhibit her suffering. In the poem he calls her a Stoic and a Stoic is someone who’s, according to Hellenistic philosophy of the Ancient Roman and Greek world, ethics are informed by logic and that happiness can be achieved by accepting what they had been given in life and by not allowing themselves to be controlled by their desires and fears. Essentially,
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