In The Odyssey, how would Telemachus like to do more with Odysseus than what Odysseus is capable of?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One way of responding to this question is to point to the urgency with which Telemachus wants to challenge and fight the suitors towards the end of this epic classic and the way that his father has to counsel him to be patient and to wait for his revenge. Telemachus is of course speaking from his experience of having watched his mother's suitors arrive and take over his father's halls and drink and eat all of their bounty, so we can understand his impatience and his desire to get his revenge on the suitors as swiftly as possible.

Odysseus of course, the wily strategist, is playing a long game here. Rather than challenge the suitors openly, he, with the benefit of hindsight and wisdom, recognises that it would be much better to scout out the territory first and work out who is still loyal to him so that he can assess both the enemy that opposes him as well as his own position and the numbers that he can draw upon.

This would therefore be a good example of one way in which Telemachus tries to urge his father to act before his father is actually ready to do so. This displays the relative lack of experience of Telemachus and gives us yet another opportunity to see the wisdom and wily nature of Odysseus.


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