The Character Of Telemachus In Homer's Odyssey

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In the classic epic poem The Odyssey, Telemachus’ character is, in my opinion an extremely wise and patient man. While his father is away, he lacks the courage that he needs to stand up to the suitors until Athena comes to him and gives him the valor that he desires. Until he acquires that courage, however, he is particularly patient with the suitors. Most men today in a similar situation would not tolerate a fraction of these suitors for more than a few days. Furthermore, Telemachus’ cunning is outstanding even for a man of his time. This astuteness is especially prevalent in Book 20. He said, “Sit here among these heroes and sip your wine./ I myself will protect you from their insults/ And keep their hands from you. This house/ Is not a public inn, but the palace of Odysseus,/ Who inherited it to pass on to me…” (317).…show more content…
Though Telemachus knows that Odysseus is in disguise, the suitors have yet to discover that the old man Telemachus is welcoming into his home is really his father. By inviting this old man into his home and asking him to sit with those “heroes” as equals, Telemachus is not only making the suitors believe that he is completely kindhearted, but also getting Odysseus close enough to begin carrying out his plan to kill the suitors (317). The men that Telemachus seated Odysseus with are anything but heroes. They have absolutely no qualities in common with that of Odysseus or Telemachus. I found it some humor in Telemachus‘ saying, “sip your wine” to the old man (317). He did not refer to the wine as his father’s as he probably would have done if he had been talking to one of the suitors. To some extent, that specific choice of words gives away the fact that the old man really is Odysseus in disguise. Telemachus constantly seems to be underestimated by the suitors, which gives an acute advantage to him and to his

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