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St. Augustine and Telemachus in Homers Odyssey - Essay Example

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Like two opposite ends in a spectrum, I believe that St. Augustine and Telemachus in Homer's Odyssey grew up in very different environment. The ways in which they matured into adulthood are poles apart.
With respect to their mothers, St. Augustine was close to his mother, Monica, while growing up…
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St. Augustine and Telemachus in Homers Odyssey
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Download file to see previous pages Unlike Monica to the young Augustine, Penelope did not share any knowledge or wisdom to Telemachus. Instead, there were even times that it was Telemachus that rebukes her. In Book 1 of the Odyssey, Telemachus rebukes Penelope for her bereavement which was caused by a song. In Book 23, he rebukes her for not welcoming Odysseus properly. In my observation, Telemachus' respect for Penelope rose from the fact that she was his mother but not because she was wise and Telemachus looked up to her.
With respect to their father's Telemachus was closer to his father than the young Augustine was. Although Odysseus was away the whole time Telemachus was growing up, it was actually his absence that caused Telemachus to step up, take responsibility and be a man. And the little time that they spent shortly after Odysseus returned to Ithaca and during their battle against Penelope's suitors was enough to greatly influence Telemachus' maturity.
On the other hand, Patrick has less influence on Augustine. He did make young Augustines' study in Carthage possible. And as a pagan, he did provide Augustine alternative principles to Catholic faith. Though I believe that this was a great reason why Augustine was so open-minded, I think it was his mother's faith and wisdom that ultimately influence Augustine's view.
Augustine believed in only one God who plays passive role in people's lives. That God creates people in goodness but lets them live their own lives as they will. He even believed that God is not a separate being and it is actually within him, within everything.
On the other hand, there were many Greek gods in Telemachus' life. Contrary to what Augustine believed, Greek gods are separate beings. They have names, personalities and even relationships. And they also play a very active role in people's lives. They talk to them either thru dreams or by disguising as humans. They even help them out in battles.
Their Search for Knowledge
All his life, he sought for knowledge. He went out to study at Carthage, Rome and Milan. He devoted his entire existence seeking for the truth in faith, sciences and philosophy. And he even had to deal with inner conflict in the process.
Telemachus went on a journey as well. But unlike Augustine's quest for knowledge on greater things such as life itself, Telemachus' quest was limited only to seek for knowledge on his father's whereabouts. And despite such journey, his acquisition of any information was greatly because of the gods. Athena fed him information either by disguising as Odysseus friend or sending messages in his dreams.
In my opinion, Telemachus and Augustine's process of coming of age was very different. They differ as to how they regard their parents and who ultimately influenced their persons. For Telemachus, it was his father that greatly influenced his being. On the other hand, for Augustine, it was his mother that influenced his ideals and principles. They also differ on how the gods affects their living. For Telemachus, the gods actively participated in his activities. But for Augustine, God served only as a guiding force.
However, for me, the most important difference in their maturity is this. For Telemachus, it is my opinion that maturity was imposed on him. If his father was not absent, there would not be any annoying suitors courting his mother. There would not be a need for him to take responsibility and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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