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Menelaus encourages him with news that Odysseus may be alive and held captive by a goddess-nymph named Calypso.Athena keeps the prince alive by helping him avoid an ambush set up by the suitors on his return trip to Ithaca.
They are there to court his mother, Penelope, in hopes of marrying her and taking over the kingdom.
Telemachus is "sitting among the suitors" (book 1, line 132) and watches them take over.
Just an infant when his father left for Troy, Telemachus is still maturing when the Odyssey begins.
He is wholly devoted to his mother and to maintaining his father’s estate, but he does not know how to protect them from the suitors.
However, one must read the whole epic to see Telemachus's journey to complete maturity.
One instance of Telemachus's developing maturity occurs in the very first book of the epic when he decides to stand up to many unruly suitors who have taken over part of his family home.
Although he speaks well at the meeting and impresses some of the elders, the leading suitors (Antinous and Eurymachus) show no respect for either Telemachus or his mother, Queen Penelope, and little is accomplished.
Athena senses danger and manages for the prince to visit two foreign kings who are old comrades of his father: Nestor of Pylos and Menelaus of Sparta. Athena, disguised as Mentor, guides and instructs him. Nestor reinforces in the prince a respect for loyalty and devotion.
After all, it has only been a few years since he first realized what the suitors’ intentions were. Aside from improving his stature and bearing, she teaches him the responsibilities of a young prince. He confronts the suitors and denounces the abuse of his estate, and when Penelope and Eurycleia become anxious or upset, he does not shy away from taking control.
Telemachus never fully matches his father’s talents, at least not by the Odyssey’s conclusion.