RE: Discussion questions – The Odyssey, Book 1: What is Olympus? Who meets there
- What is Olympus? Who meets there?
- What type of system of morality does Zeus invoke?
- Who is Telemachus? How old is he?
- Why does Athena mention Orestes to Telelmachus?
- Who is Odysseus and what has happened to him?
- What is happening to Penelope during Odysseus’ absence?
- Why is Poseidon angry?
Who is Telemachus? How old is he?
Just an infant when his father left for Troy, Telemachus is still maturing when the Odyssey begins. He is wholly devoted to his mother and to maintaining his father’s estate, but he does not know how to protect them from the suitors. When Telemachus reached manhood, he visited Pylos and Sparta in search of his wandering father. On his return, he found that Odysseus had reached home before him. Then father and son slew the suitors who had gathered around Penelope. According to later tradition, Telemachus married Circe (or Calypso) after Odysseus’ death. He believes in the support of the gods, especially Athena; and he believes in this great man, his father, whom he has known only as a legend. Telemachus rarely wavers. At the showdown with the suitors in the great hall, he is shrewd enough to get his mother out of the line of fire and mature enough to be a real help to Odysseus.