The Odyssey

The Odyssey

Explain the character of Telemachus as a noble son of Penelope.

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Odysseus' son, Telemachus, undergoes a miniature odyssey of his own. A callow 20-year-old afraid to challenge the suitors at the start of the poem, by the end, thanks in part to Athena's grooming, he is an assured, mature young man ready to take on the suitors.

During his short journey to learn about the father he does not know, Telemachus is the beneficiary of "xenia," the Greek term for hospitality. He repays the favor to others who need help and is a respectful traveler. Though he has not inherited his father's gift for cunning, The Odyssey ends with the promise that Telemachus will one day make a fine ruler of Ithaca.