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Word Count: 601
Natalie Allen Great Books 1 Dr St John September 18 2000 Man or Boy Telemakhos Cant Decide Many boys who grow up without a father lack the direction and insight gained only through having a masculine role model Such a boy is introduced in Homers epic tale The Odyssey as Telemakhos Odysseus son In the beginning of the story Homer portrays Telemakhos as a timid and passive person who has not the strength to run out the suitors who have taken over his house However in Book XXI lines 358-378 the reader may note a dramatic change in Telemakhos attitude as he begins to take on the responsibilities of a man Through this short passage one realizes that Odysseus son is now willing to stand up for himself and thus take a stand against the suitors Beginning at line 360 Telemakhos makes a statement directed towards his mother that no man here has more authority than I do With these lines Telemakhos is interrupting his mother who previously is overseeing the bow-stringing contest Telemakhos may have decided to interfere because he wanted to decide the rules of the contest With Telemakhos in charge he can force the suitors to let his father have a chance to shoot the bow This is crucial because Telemakhos knows who his father is and his mother does not so she would not know to allow Odysseus to participate in the game Up until this point Odysseus son has not spoken outwardly in an authoritative manner Therefore Telemakhos indirectly shows the suitors how he has become more powerful by speaking to his mother in front of them in a strict manner Then in lines 367-368 he goes on to say that he will settle all disputes concerning the bow for he is the master there and so Penelope should leave If Homer had written the story so Penelope had stayed in the banquet hall instead of obeying her
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