Father-Son Relationships in “The Odyssey”

  • Introduction

    The epic composition, “The Odyssey” simply by Homer is the great work associated with literature that narrates the story associated with Odysseus as this individual returns to Ithaca from Troy. Thanks to the patriarchal nature of the particular Greek society, the particular reader observes that will the relationship among father and child is a main subject or concept that stands away in this function. Despite the concerns of distance and separation, this argumentative paper describes the depiction of positive connections between fathers and sons in this poem and how they both possess similar qualities that are founded on the people’s traditions, such as courage, ambition, and honor.

    Father-Son Relationship

    The nature of the relationship existing between men and their sons in this poem is something informed by the culture of the Greeks. It is evident that the society encourages leaders and other members of the society to raise brave sons who can take their positions and avenge for them even when they are gone. During the early years of every boy, father should use their competencies and resources to protect them against any form of harm (Liang 43). Using these insights and social attributes, Odysseus is does whatever he can to ensure that Telemachus is out of danger. Despite the fact that he is away for around twenty years, he manages to connect with and empower his son.

    The author of this epic uses the concept of separation appears to support the positivity of the relationship between Telemachus and Odysseus. Although the two individuals are separated for many years, they eventually develop immeasurable love, support, and admiration for each other (Dougherty 118). This is a clear indication that the existing distance is what cements or strengthens their relationship. Throughout this time of separation, they find meaning in taking good care of one another and concentrating on the success of their prolonged family.

    The presence of psychological connection is obvious throughout this world famous by Homer. For example, the poem shows that Telemachus plus Odysseus cried plus shed tears having seen each other (268). This presentation indicates that that they had created and sustained the strong bond that could support their objectives. They would furthermore find new factors to empower every other in a good attempt to provide victories.

    The distance that been around between them credited to the continuing war in Troy made it feasible for Telemachus in order to identify and create most of ideals and traits their father exhibited. This particular kind of accomplishment made him even more courageous and positive (Dougherty 119). This individual reflected deeply so that they can develop an exceptional philosophy that might make it simpler for him in order to earn victory in Troy. This thought indicates that their father was the role model in whose attributes were well worth emulating.

    After Telemachus returned back again to Ithaca, the reader observes that Odysseus was pleased and proud of him. This was the case since he had worn, thereby portraying the true elements of a hero. The epic goes further to reveal that the two shared similar values and aspects that made them successful in their conquests. Such attributes, therefore , play a positive role in strengthening the existing son-father relationship. Homer also supports this idea by indicating that sons should be ready to follow their fathers’ wishes (Chapman 173). It is also evident that children should keep their fathers’ secrets whenever possible.

    The subject of responsibility is another defining factor of the kind of relationship existing between Odysseus and Telemachus. With this composition, it is reasonable that sons seem to have an responsibility to consider good treatment of their dads (Barker and Christensen 92). This type of requirement forces them to get revenge and obtain reduce any type of humiliation that will their fathers may have encountered. The storyplot the King narrates to Telemachus furthermore support this concept since Orestes proceeded to go a step additional to kill their father’s murderer (Liang 47). This type of portrayal discloses how sons must do everything possible to guard the honor associated with their respective dads.

    After coming back back from Troy, Telemachus finds numerous men why are usually wanting to befriend their wife. It will be during this period which he attacks all of them for disturbing their son. This will be a clear indicator that he is usually ready to safeguard his male kid from any type of disturbance, pain, or misuse (Barker and Christensen 92). Many individuals with this Greek community seem to appreciate the particular fact that younger boys should become supported and strengthened if they happen to be to turn out to be true heroes.

    A strong relationship also existed among Laertes great child, Odysseus. With this composition, it is significant that Laertes grew to become extremely sick due to the fact Odysseus was aside for many many years. He remained concerned and not capable of going after his goals effectively. The lack of their child is really an obvious indication which he was in some way unhappy. However, the return of Odysseus uplifted his spirits and made him healthy again (Barker and Christensen 102). Consequently, he found new energy to fight their enemies, alongside his son and grandson. This kind of relationship emerges as the main ingredient for victory and succession in this society.


    The relationship between fathers and sons in this poem is something that revolves around individuals who emerge victorious in battles. This portrayal reveals that sons are deemed effectiveness only after winning wars. This is a clear indication that a negative relationship characterized by hatred and apathy could have emerged if sons lost battles (Dougherty 127). However, the author selects specific characters whose confidence, bravery, and integrity made it easier for them to triumph, thereby strengthening their relationships with their fathers.

    While this kind of bond should always be natural, sons of brave fathers have to go a step further to prove their worth by emulating their values and eventually strengthening it. Homer’s society expected such sons to obey their fathers, remain separated for several years, and earn victories for their people. Those who achieved such goals eventually made their fathers proud and happy. Similarly, there was a need for adults to protect their young children and ensure that they acquired similar values (Liang 48). Such gains would make them successful and honorable members of their respective societies.


    The relationship existing between a son and his father in Homer’s epic poem appears to be quite strong and unbreakable. Using the examples of Odyssey, Laertes, and Telemachus, the author reveals that such a bond is intrinsic in nature and aimed at supporting the goals of every society or kingdom. Fathers appear to do whatever is possible to support and protect their sons from any form of harm. On the hand, sons are required to use their immense power to serve their fathers by keeping their secrets and pursuing revenge.

    Works Cited

    Barker, Elton T., and Joel P. Christensen. “Odysseus’s Nostos and the Odyssey’s Nostoi: Rivalry within the Epic Cycle. ” Philologia Antiqua, vol. 7, no . 1, 2016, pp. 85-110.

    Chapman, David W. “Not the Same Old Story: Dante’s Re-Telling of The Odyssey. Religions, vol. 10, no. 3, 2019, pp. 171-176.

    Dougherty, Carol. “Nobody’s Home: Metis, Improvization and the Instability of Return in Homer’s Odyssey. ” New Essays on Homer: Language, Violence, and Agency, vol. 44, no. 1-2, 2015, pp. 115-140.

    Liang, Meng. “The Making of Odysseus the Hero inside Homer’s Odyssey. ” International Journal associated with Applied Linguistics & English Books, vol. 6, number 7, 2017, pp. 42-48.

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