In Book 17 of The Odyssey, Odysseus comes to Ithaca, pretending to be an old beggar. Telemachus precedes them, cheering his mother with his presence and the stories of his trip. With the prince is a seer, Theoclymenus, who tells Penelope that Odysseus is on Ithaca now, gathering information. The queen wishes that she could believe him, but she cannot.
The role of Theoclymenus in The Odyssey is that of a seer to provide interpretations to the things seen in birds’ case. He would give representations to something that ordinary folks could not see and would not deem significant. He provided Telemachus with the hope that his father would be alive and well so that they could both return home to Ithaca and deal with his mother’s suitors.
Without Theoclymenus in The Odyssey, Telemachus would not have had the hope and faith to fight for his home. He wouldn’t have believed that his father, Odysseus, was still alive, nor would he have had the strength to hold on.
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