English 2, Period 3
3 November 2014
Homer's, The Odyssey recounts Telemakhos's growth from a quiet, fatherless and unassertive youth, being controlled by his mother's suitors invading his house into a man worthy of standing next to his father in life and in combat. The goddess Athena guides Telemakhos and assists him in his journey to adulthood. Homer's notion of becoming a man involves taking risks to bring honor to one's self and family. Telemakhos's journey demonstrates how a Greek boy becomes a Greek man. Becoming a man involves leaving a dependent state and entering an independent one with freedom of choice. Each risk advances an ability to build courage and enhance his self-identity. The ancient Greek society emphasized taking bigger risks to prove one's worth and maturity. Telemakhos embodies these characteristics as he matures into a man.
By seeking independence, he is exposed to the dangers and challenges represented by making one's own decisions. As a boy, Telemakhos is dependent on the prospect of his father's return to handle the risk displayed by the suitors. However, when the disguised Athena urges Telemakhos to seek news of his father and make a name for himself, she encourages him to oppose the suitors and take a risk: "be brave-you, too-and men in times to come / will speak of you respectfully" (10). Athena's guidance is a catalyst for Telemakhos's urge of independence. While Athena does not force Telemakhos to gain independence, she assists Telemakhos in the decision process. As a result of his encounter with the disguised Athena, Telemakhos rejects his previously childish behavior and pursues independence: "I will sail to sandy Pylos, then...