Father-Son Relationships in the Oddysey

1136 words 5 pages
Father-Son Relationships in The Odyssey "Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant." This quote, stated by Epictetus, is an ideal depiction of the importance of father-son relationships in Homer’s ancient Greek epic, The Odyssey. The protagonist of The Odyssey, Odysseus, fights among the other Greek heroes at Troy and struggles to return to his kingdom in Ithaca where his loyal wife, Penelope, and his loving son, Telemachus await. Telemachus is an infant when Odysseus leaves for Troy, leaving him alone with his concerned mother and her arrogant suitors. In father-son relationships, both fathers and sons provide and learn from each other while …show more content…

For example, the way that the soldiers conduct themselves at the island of the Cicones demonstrates their foolishness. This example reveals how irresponsible the men are and how they are obviously not ready to transition from being a soldier at war to a loving husband and father. Many of the examples of father-son relationships result in the father taking responsibility and learning from their child. Father-son relationships not only influence those in the relationship but also those outside of the relationship, affecting them figuratively and literally. Zeus foreshadows Orestes actions when he tells Athena, “Beware, revenge will come from Orestes, Agamemnon’s son, that day he comes of age and longs for his native land” (78). This quote of the story of Orestes is constantly mentioned throughout the epic. The reason behind the repetition of the story is that it is a mirror story of Odysseus and Telemachus fulfilling their role in the kingdom and Telemachus becoming a man. This quote foreshadows that of Odysseus and Telemachus and is a perfect example of a father-son relationship influencing other relationships figuratively. Another example of a father-son relationship influencing those out of the relationship is Polyphemus’ relationship with Poseidon and how it affects Odysseus and his men on the journey home. After Odysseus stabs Polyphemus in his eye and needlessly reveals his name to Polyphemus,