Telemakhos, son of Odysseus played a very important role in the Odyssey. Though he was only involved in two main parts of the story, he played an important role helping Odysseus regain dominance in Ithaca. His role in the beginning was less significant because character development took awhile of himself.
Telemakhos goes through a huge character change during the book. At the beginning of the epic poem he is a shy, very hesitant, and unconfident. At the end he is self-confident and aggressive. This occurs with the help of Athena.
The Odyssey began in Ithaca, where a group of suitors were harassing Telemakhos's mom Penelope. His father was gone and he was placed in this situation all by himself. He sat in a corner avoiding the situation like a cat avoids a dog. He was in a depressed state because he felt powerless. He realized the suitors were doing bad things, but he didn't know how to stand up to them.
At first, it seemed as though nothing could have gotten him out this mess, but then the Goddess Athena disguised as Mentes, a friend of his father's, rallied him out of this position.
It is possible that the main reason why a god such as Athena was needed to help him was that Telemakhos had little male influence in his life. With his father off to war he was pressured to live up to the strong reputation of Odysseus, but he didn't have his father there to help him.
He eventually became more courageous. This was demonstrated at two main points in the book when Telemakhos gained confidence and took action. In these situations, Telemakhos stood up to his mother and the suitors.
His mother, Penelope was in a state of misery because her husband was...