The Odyssey by Homer

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What does Telemachus tell the suitors to do in Homer's The Odyssey?

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In The Odyssey, Odysseus' return journey home after the end of the Trojan War takes twenty years. In that time, everyone believes he has died, so suitors overrun his home, take advantage of Odysseus' wife, Penelope, and her hospitality (with the intent of winning her hand in marriage and taking all that was Odysseus'—not just his wife.) They also treat Telemachus poorly. (In Book 15, the suitors try to ambush Telemachus when he is away from home, intent upon killing him.) Since his father has been gone, Telemachus has grown into a fine young man, and he does his best to protect his mother.

Before Telemachus departs to try to find his father, he orders the suitors to pack themselves up to leave, or they will be sorry:

Telemachus spoke, “Shameless,” he cried, “and insolent suitors, let us feast at our pleasure now, and let there be no brawling [...] but in the morning meet me in full assembly that I may give you formal notice to depart, and feast at one another's houses [...] If on the other hand you choose to persist in spunging upon one man [...] Zeus shall reckon with you...

Telemachus is frustrated because there is no way to know that his father has died and that he is lord of the house, for if he were, he would throw the suitors out. However, Athena, visiting in disguise, convinces him that his father lives and that he should go find him. In learning of this father's general circumstances, Telemachus has a stronger sense of self and of his place in his home, demanding that the suitors stop eating their food and behaving abominably. Even the suitors take notice of this change in Telemachus:

The suitors bit their lips as they heard him, and marveled at the boldness of his speech.

They hope, however, that he will never be "chief in Ithaca" as his father had been: they must see something unsettling as Telemachus begins to grow into a man more like his father.

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The Odyssey by Homer tells of the many adventures of Odysseus as he attempts to return home after the Trojan War. In the meantime, rowdy suitors, thinking him dead, have invaded his palace, are feasting at his expense, and are vying for the hand of Odysseus's wife, Penelope. The goddess Athena persuades Telemachus to go and search for his father. When Telemachus returns, his father reveals himself to him, and together, they plot the overthrow of the suitors.

Just before the slaughter of the suitors, Telemachus brings his father, who is disguised as a beggar, into the banquet hall and sits him down at a small table with a rickety stool. Telemachus then tells the suitors to control themselves and refrain from insults and brawling. One of the suitors, Ctesippus, ignores Telemachus and throws an ox hoof at Odysseus's head, which Odysseus dodges. Telemachus informs the suitors that if the hoof would have hit the person they suppose to be a beggar, he would have put a spear through Ctesippus, and he again tells them to refrain from such offenses and commit no more crimes in his house.

Soon after this exchange, Penelope initiates a contest to see who can string and shoot Odysseus's bow. Odysseus succeeds, and then Odysseus, Telemachus, and some others rise up and kill all the suitors.

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