The Journey of Odysseus
and Telemachos

In The Odyssey written by Homer and translated by Richard Lattimore,
several themes are made evident, conceived by the nature of the time
period, and customs of the Greek people. These molded and shaped the
actual flow of events and outcomes of the poem. Beliefs of this
characteristic were represented by the sheer reverence towards the gods
and the humanities the Greek society exhibited, and are both deeply
rooted within the story.

In the intricate and well-developed plot of The Odyssey, Homer
harmonized several subjects. One of these, was the quest of Telemachos,
(titled "Telemachy") in correlation with the journey of his father. In
this, he is developed from a childish, passive, and untested boy, to a
young man preparing to stand by his fathers side. This is directly
connected to the voyage of Odysseus, in that they both lead to the same
finale, and are both stepping stones towards wisdom, manhood, and
scholarship. Through these voyages certain parallels are drawn concerning

Odysseus and Telemachos: the physical journeys, the mental preparations
they have produced, and what their emotional status has resulted in.

These all partake a immense role in the way the story is set up, stemming
from the purpose of each character’s journey, their personal challenges,
and the difficulties that surround them.

The story commences when Odysseus, a valiant hero of the Trojan war,
journeys back home. Together with his courageous comrades, and a several
vessels, he set sail for his homeland Ithaca. Fated to wander for a full
ten years, Odysseus’s ships were immediately blown to Thrace by a
powerful storm. The expedition had begun.

Upon this misfortune, he and his men started a raid on the land of
the Cicones. However, this only provided them with temporary success. The

Cicones had struck back and defeated a vast majority of Odysseus’s crew.

This was their first of many disastrous experiences to come.

Storms then blew his ships to Libya and the land of the

Lotus-eaters, where the crew was given Lotus fruit from which most lost
their entire memories from home. Odysseus, and the others who had not
tasted it, recovered the sailors by force, and set sail again, westward,
this time to the island of the Cyclops, a wild race of one-eyed giants.

Leaving most of his men in a sheltered cove, Odysseus then entered the
island with one crew only. They wandered around, encountering, and
foolishly entering an immense cave, awaiting the owner. Moments later, a

Cyclops named Polyphemos, son of Poseidon, entered and pushed a huge
bolder covering the entrance to the cave. Upon this, he immediately ate
two sailors, and promised to eat the others in due time. The morning
came, and Polyphemos had promptly eaten two more seamen, against the will
of Zeus. Odysseus, soon realized that killing him asleep would do no good
since the mouth of the cave was still inescapable. The captain had then
devised a new plan. When Polyphemos returned that evening, Odysseus
showered the monster with wine until he had fallen under a drunken spell.

Then, with the help of his companions took a sharp pole and rammed it
into his large eye, blinding him instantaneously. As the crew sailed away
into the vast dimensions of the sea, Odysseus had unwisely revealed his
name in taunting the poor beast, boasting his excessive pride. Polyphemos
then made a prayer to his father, asking to punish the man who had caused
him this harm.

Several days later Odysseus and his men arrived at the island of

Aeolus, keeper of the winds. There, they stayed for about one month, and
departed, in sight of the long-awaited Ithaca. However, before they left,

Odysseus was presented with a container of winds, carrying each but the
needed West wind. As Ithaca approached, the crew not knowing the
contents of the "skin", opened it up and released all of the winds,
depositing the ships back at the island of Aeolus, who refused to help
them any further.

Setting sail once again, the group headed back west, where they had
come across the Island of the Laesrtygonians, a savage race of cannibals.

Everyone, but Odysseus, lined their ships at the harbor, covered with
rocks. The entire party was attacked and eaten by the Laestrygonians, who
had bombarded them with giant boulders. Having but one vessel left,

Odysseus sailed his ship to the Island of Dawn, inhabited by the
sorceress Circe.

A group of men were sent to explore the island, who were then lured,
feasted, and the turned to swine by Circe. Knowing this Odysseus went
after her, and on his way encountered Hermes who gave him a potion to
withstand the spell.