How did Telemachus' notion of his father change from boyhood to manhood?

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lhc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Prince Telemachus was just a baby when his father left to fight in the Trojan War; when he finally encounters his father again, he is twenty years old.  From the time Telemachus was very small, he heard stories of his father's heroic qualities, and he was well aware that his father didn't leave to go find greener pastures, but was away fighting for an important cause.  Odysseus was gone fighting for ten years, and it took him another decade to return.  When he and Telemachus are finally together in an emotional reunion, it becomes apparent that the two will have a good relationship, as they work together to take back control of their household and save Penelope from the would-be suitors who have refused to leave.  Homer ends the story with the family structure intact, for although Odysseus hasn't exactly been faithful to his wife, he did return to her and to his son, and the stage has been set for Telemachus to follow in his father's footsteps and become a great leader in his own right.