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Telemachus” is one of the famous characters from “Greek mythology” brought forward by one of the famous authors of all time, “Homer” through his noble series “Odyssey.” According to “Greek mythology” Telemachus happens to be the son of “Penelope” and “Odysseus.” Telemachus is a Greek word whose etymology is “far from battle.” So, judging by the meaning of the word Telemachus, one can think of the intended meaning of the word which is “fighting from afar” just as like a bowman. It is to be noted that the character, Telemachus was not famous until it became the prime character within the noble “Odyssey” by Homer. Homer narrated the whole story of Telemachus through his first publication of four books named, “The Telemachy” which was part of the series “Odyssey.” The first four books as published by Homer, contain a thorough description of Telemachus visiting various kingdoms of Sparta, Pylos, and many more in search of his father who left him for the “Trojan War” when he was a young child. According to the Greek Mythology brought forward by Homer, when Telemachus finally returned to his home, the island of “Ithaca”, he found that his father had already returned home way before him. Thus, this essay aims to illustrate the life and character of Telemachus according to the Greek mythology brought forward by different well-known authors of the medieval and modern eras.

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Telemachus who was the son of “Penelope” and “Odysseus” according to Greek mythology finds its first mention within the series called the “Odyssey” published by Homer. The first four books of the “Odyssey” were specifically dedicated to the early life of “Telemachus” and hence were named after him as “Telemachy.” According to “Telemachy” published by Homer, Telemachus was a very young child when his father left him and went for the” Trojan War.” Telemachus was very curious about his wandering father and hence resorted to going in search of him as soon as he achieved his manhood. Homer narrated the entire story of Telemachus’ search for his father through his published books. So, according to Homer, as soon as Telemachus reached the age of twenty, he first went to the Kingdom of “Pylos” which was the home of “Nestor” and then went to “Sparta” which was the home of the “Menelaus” who happens to a very famous astronomer and mathematician. It is to be noted that according to the Greek mythology portrayed by Homer, Nestor was not able to assist Telemachus regarding the knowledge concerning the whereabouts of his father. This made him go to Sparta where Menelaus was of great help and informed that “Odysseus” may be held captive by “Nymph Calypso” against his will. It is to be specifically noted here that in order to progress further one has to know about the Calypso who was the daughter of “Titan Atlas” who lived on the “Ogygia island.”


It is to be noted that Calypso originally welcomed Odysseus and did not hold him captive for seven long years and in place of that Odysseus himself stayed on the island of Ogygia out of his own free will. However, it is also to be noted that Greek mythology also states that Calypso also offered Odysseus complete immortality if he decided to stay on the island forever and did not wish to return to his land of “Ithaca.” However, it is to be noted that she was ultimately ordered by the Gods to release Odysseus. However, it is to be specifically considered here that Telemachus did not find his father upon arrival at Calypso. He then visited a swineherd named “Eumaeus” who was heard to be hosting his father under disguise. Finally, it was seen that “Odysseus” returned to “Ithaca” way before Telemachus could return back to his land. Upon return, he found that his father had already returned way before him.


The above-mentioned portion of mythology has been described by “Homer” in his “Odyssey.” However, there are other well-known authors and books that have equally shaded light on the life of Telemachus. The notable books first include “Telegony” which is an equivalent continuation of the “Odyssey.” This is an epic Greek poem that is inscribed and published into two different books which shed light on the life as well as the death of Odysseus. This epic poem describes how Odysseus was killed by an accident by his unknown son, “Telegonous.” Other notable authors who have delved deeper into the life of Telemachus, include “Delphic Oracle” who was ordered by the then Emperor of Rome, “Hadrian” to find out about the true origin of Homer. He concluded after his research that Homer was the son of Telemachus and “Epicasta”, the daughter of Nestor. “Dictys of Crete” and Aristotle was another eminent philosopher in Greece who investigated the life of Telemachus. Both have effectively concluded that Telemachus had for sure married the daughter of King Alcinous, “Nausicaa” and also had a son child named “Perseptolis” or “Ptoliporthus.” It is also to be noted that there are numerous well-known plays that portray the life of Telemachus as well. The well-known plays include “Alessandro Scarlatti’s Telemaco”, “Giuseppe Gazzaniga’s Gli errori di Telemaco”, Gluck’s Telemaco ossia L’isola di Circe” and many more.

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Telemachus was one of the most popular characters of Greek mythology who happened to be the son of influential kings Odysseus and Penelope. Telemachus’ early life was extensively discussed in detail by one of the famous mythological novelists, Homer, who was later proclaimed as the son of Telemachus by the great “Aristotle” and “Dictys of Crete.” According to Homer, Telemachus in his early life did not have the physical presence of his father, Odysseus who went out to fight the “Trojan War” and did not come back for more than seven years. Telemachus went in search of his father and returned empty-handed. On his return, he found that his father had already returned to “Ithaca” his homeland. In a nutshell, it can be concluded that Telemachus was one of the famous characters of Greek mythology whose life has been referred to and portrayed by numerous well-known authors and dramatists in their literary and artworks.

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