Many people have a significant event or action that marks the beginning of adulthood. Often their parents help guide them through the process, enabling them to have confidence in their decisions. In the Odyssey, Telemachus undergoes a much different transition. Unlike many people, Telemachus does not have a strong male role model to imitate through the trying years of adolescence. Furthermore, the suitors who wish to take Penelope's hand in marriage hinder his passage. These suitors, believing that Telemachus is no more than a boy, constantly degrade and humiliate the young prince. However, the boy begins his transition after the goddess Athena encourages him to take a journey and discover the fate of his father. Although Telemachus is initially confused about his future and responsibilities, the search for his father allows the prince to discover his own identity.
Telemachus takes the first step toward becoming a man and discovering his own identity when he begins to stand up for his responsibilities at home.
He finally realizes that he "[holds] the reins of power in [his] house." This realization shows that Telemachus now knows what his responsibilities at home encompass. Now, he must follow through and uphold his newfound responsibilities. Telemachus also declares that he will "be lord of [his] own house and servants, all that King Odysseus won for me by force." Through this statement, Telemachus proves that he will rule his land and people if the great Odysseus is dead, once again showing that he knows and accepts his responsibilities. This realization reiterates the progress that Telemachus has made in the search for his manhood and identity.
Telemachus now understands his destiny, and realizes he must search for his father to make it complete. He shows the fortitude and commitment for his journey and mission when he tells...