What does Telemachus learn from Nestor and Meneleus?
It seemed to me/us that though both had arrived home and were with their families, neither were so enviable as Odysseus would be on his day of homecoming.
Nestor attributes just about everything to the gods, surrendering much of the control in his life. He is the opposite of “resourceful” Odysseus who makes his own way. Of the two great counselors at Troy, Nestor proves to be famous only for making it home quickly, while Odysseus wins wide fame for the scheme that sacked Troy. Nestor seems a little bitter and spends an awful lot of time talking about how right he was to leave early.
Meneleus represents the other end of the spectrum in terms of “resourcelessness.” He presents a picture of impotence, being unable to keep his wife at home, wage his own war, save his brother, or even discern how to please the gods and arrive home. Katrina pointed out that he is a man of big words, saying that he would displace a city to have Odysseus near him, and he would trade all his wealth to save those who died at Troy, but he is unable to deliver. Nestor is humble even to the exclusion of glory (kleios). Perhaps Odysseus will represent something like a golden mean, though seemingly a different one from Aristotle’s great-souled man. His a man of many resources who more than the others seems to drive his own fate.
It seems that while on the trip, Telemachus should have seen that simply arriving home is not all it’s cracked up to be, that Odysseus is a greater counselor than Nestor and has a better wife than Meneleus has, but what did he learn about becoming a man, a king like his father? What evidence is there that he learned? There is the lie he tells Meneleus about needing to hurry back to his companions in Pylos, but what other evidence is there that Telemachus understands his father better and is becoming like him?
Why does he keep asking about Orestes?