Telemachus Weakness in The Odyssey

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 570 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Words: 570|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Telemachus' Struggle with Identity
  3. Lack of Experience
  4. Fear
  5. Moments of Growth and Development
  6. Conclusion


Telemachus, the son of Odysseus in Homer's epic poem The Odyssey, is often portrayed as a character with great potential but significant weaknesses. Throughout the poem, Telemachus struggles with his identity, lack of experience, and fear of taking control. These weaknesses hinder his growth and development as a leader, making him a compelling character to explore in depth.

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Telemachus' Struggle with Identity

One of Telemachus' primary weaknesses is his struggle with his identity. As the son of Odysseus, a legendary hero, he feels immense pressure to live up to his father's reputation. This pressure is further intensified by the absence of Odysseus, who has been away from home for twenty years. Telemachus is left without a strong male role model to guide him, adding to his feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. This lack of identity prevents Telemachus from asserting himself and taking control of his own destiny.

Lack of Experience

Telemachus' lack of experience is another significant weakness. Unlike his father, who has faced numerous challenges and triumphed over them, Telemachus has led a sheltered and privileged life. He has never had to face adversity or make difficult decisions. This lack of experience is evident in his initial passivity and indecisiveness. For example, when the suitors invade his home and disrespect his family, Telemachus initially does nothing to stop them. He is unsure of how to handle the situation and lacks the confidence to take action. This weakness prevents Telemachus from asserting himself and asserting his authority, allowing the suitors to continue their disrespectful behavior.


Fear is another weakness that plagues Telemachus throughout his journey. He is constantly afraid of the unknown and the dangers that lie ahead. This fear manifests itself in his reluctance to leave Ithaca and search for his father. Telemachus is hesitant to embark on a journey that will take him away from the safety of his home and expose him to potential harm. This fear holds him back from realizing his full potential and becoming the leader he is capable of being.

Moments of Growth and Development

Despite these weaknesses, Telemachus does demonstrate moments of growth and development throughout the poem. One example is his journey to Pylos and Sparta to seek information about his father. This journey forces Telemachus to confront his fears and step out of his comfort zone. He must navigate unfamiliar territories, interact with strangers, and assert himself in unfamiliar situations. This experience helps Telemachus gain confidence and assertiveness, slowly overcoming his weaknesses.

Another example of Telemachus' growth is his confrontation with the suitors upon his return to Ithaca. After his journey, Telemachus is no longer the passive and indecisive young man he once was. He confronts the suitors head-on, demanding that they leave his home and showing them that he will not tolerate their disrespectful behavior. This assertiveness is a significant step forward for Telemachus, demonstrating his growth and development as a character.

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In conclusion, Telemachus' weaknesses in The Odyssey are significant and hinder his growth and development as a leader. His struggle with identity, lack of experience, and fear prevent him from asserting himself and taking control of his own destiny. However, through his journey and confrontation with the suitors, Telemachus demonstrates moments of growth and development. These moments show his potential for growth and suggest that he may overcome his weaknesses in the future. Telemachus' weaknesses make him a relatable and compelling character, as readers can see themselves in his struggles and root for his eventual triumph.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Telemachus Weakness In The Odyssey. (2024, March 19). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from
“Telemachus Weakness In The Odyssey.” GradesFixer, 19 Mar. 2024,
Telemachus Weakness In The Odyssey. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 May 2024].
Telemachus Weakness In The Odyssey [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 19 [cited 2024 May 30]. Available from:
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