Homer’s Odyssey

A discussion of Homer’s Odyssey, illustrating the relationship between Telemakhos and Penelope.

This paper analyzes the complex set of both personal and cultural relationships between many characters in Homer’s Odyssey. The paper describes Homeric culture, which demanded that a high level of attention be paid to social norms and standards. The paper portrays the loyalty the characters must show, through an examination of the relationship between Telemakhos and his mother Penelope.
Telemakhos shows both admiration and loyalty toward his mother, his household and his father by publicly lamenting and confronting the intruding suitors in a public assembly, an assembly that is not called together frequently and seems to be reserved for very important events or occasions. Telemakhos makes clear to the assembly that he wishes that the suitors withdraw from his home because they are both unwanted and because proof of his father’s death, even after such a long absence, has not been determined. Telemakhos reports that his mother wishes to remain faithful to Odysseus until some sure sign of his death is brought to her, yet she is forced by custom to address so many unwanted suitors and feels unprotected so far from her own family.