Who Is Telemachus Foils In The Odyssey

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Literary foils are when two characters can be compared to one another in that they share many similarities, but have one key difference that is then highlighted by these similarities. In Homer’s The Odyssey, a large part of the story is centered around the protagonist, Odysseus, the long-lost King of Ithaca, and his son, Telemachus, who hasn’t seen his father for twenty years. In fact, part of the journey that Telemachus makes is to find reassurance that Odysseus truly is his father. Although they are separated for a long part of the story, Homer writes these two characters as foils of each other. Homer presenting Odysseus and Telemachus as literary foils, emphasizes that because of their different levels of control, Odysseus is better fit …show more content…

An epic hero is a someone with impressive qualities who is widely admired for completing many awe-inspiring tasks. In the world of the Ancient Greeks’ Odysseus is a household name. His mix of cleverness and recklessness allows him to finagle himself out of dangerous situations. Each time a new trial presents itself, it is another opportunity for Odysseus to showcase his strength and bravery by surviving. However, the majority of the time, this survival only applies to himself and not the people around him. He only truly values his family, whereas Telemachus appreciates and values all people, excluding the suitors. His personality matches best with that of a domestic king in that he has a higher level of compassion and consideration than his …show more content…

By setting the two characters up as literary foils, Homer is able to build upon the classic familial trope of “like father, like son”, but still establish Telemachus as a strong force that can stand alone from Odysseus. The lack of constraint that Odysseus shows, especially in the murder of the suitors, paints Telemachus, who doesn’t let emotions cloud his judgement, in a more favorable light in terms of who will be a better king. Odysseus and Telemachus are parallels of each other in that they share similar plot points and both change for the better, yet are on two distinct paths. Through his incredible power and hardships turned accomplishments, Odysseus’ path leads to being an epic hero, whereas Telemachus’ understanding of people and gallant mind make him fit to be a great

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