Illustration of Odysseus tied to a ship's mast

The Odyssey

by Homer

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Who is Theoclymemus and why does he want to go to Ithaca with Telemachus?

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Theoclymenus is a prophet in his own right. Although he arrives in Ithaca as a fugitive under Telemachus' protection, he serves a couple of functions. First, when Telemachus' party arrives back in Ithaca, Telemachus sarcastically suggests that Theoclymenus stay at the home of Eurymachus, one of the more odious of the suitors. A sigh from Apollo is correctly interpreted by the prophet, and Telemachus askes his friend Piraeus to care for the old man (Fagles 16: 580-601). Then, in Book 17, Theoclymenus makes another prediction to Penelope: Odysseus has arrived at home, "poised or on the prowl," and he will bring destruction upon Penelope's unwelcome suitors.

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Theoclymenus is the descendant of a famous prophet who trying to escape punishment for the crime of manslaughter which he committed in Argos.

Telemachus befriends him and offers him protection and refuge to Ithaca. You will find the their story in Book Sixteen.

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