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Like Father Like Son

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Telemakhos is led by fate and the gods to become as great as or greater than his father, Odysseus. In the Odyssey, the Robert Fitzgerald translation, Telemakhos is already portrayed as a man of wisdom despite his young age. Fitzgerald is often referring to him as the “Clear-headed TelemakhosвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (Homer 2,218). We also see proof of his intelligence when the author introduces his speech with “Telemakhos replied with no confusion” (Homer 2,326) when he was talking to Antinoos. In both of these examples we start to see a glimpse of Odysseus in Telemakhos through his speech in which Odysseus is very knowledgeable in.

We continue to see Telemakhos grow into his father when he tells the nurse “I sail to sandy Pylos, then to Sparta, to see what news there is of Father’s voyage” (Homer 2,382). He has now starting his own odyssey, a personal one at that. Just as Odysseus needs help or a silent hand from the gods through all of his journeys, Telemakhos is helped by “the grey-eyed goddess Athena” (Homer 2, 417) almost at every turn. We don not know the extent of Telemakhos knowledge of sailing, for he did not have his father around to teach him like any other child would have. By this time Odysseus has been gone for about twenty years and Telemakhos was just a small child when he left to fight the battle of Troy. We see in book III that even though Telemakhos is wise his emotions get the better of him when he prudently replies to Lord Nestor of Gerenia, “I can’t think what you say will ever happen, sir. It is a dazzling hope. But not for me. It could not beÐ'¬Ð'¬Ð'¬---even if the gods willed it” (Homer 3,243). He said this referring to the gods helping his father.



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