The disagreement between Telemachus and Penelope arises from differing opinionson the entertainment of Phemius. Phemius is singing the tale of the Greekwarriors of Troy and their homecomings when Penelope descends from her chambersto protest this choice of music.
She scolds him, and orders him to stop becausehe has reminded her of Odysseus, whos long lost at sea. Telemachus rebukeshis mother by protesting that the bard has the right to sing anything he wishes. He then sends his mother off to her chambers, declaring that he is the master ofthe house. This clash between Penelope and Telemachus was caused by both.
Penelopes fault was that she did not stop to consider Telemachus feelingson the subject. She is so engrossed in her own pain for her lost love that sheis blind to the problems of her son. She does not see his insecurities on hispast and especially his future, or his lack of confidence in himself. Most ofall, she is ignorant to his inner struggle between love and hate for Odysseus.
She does not realize his need to learn of his legacy, she only sees her griefand her pain. . She is very detached from the world, and focuses on her griefand pain. Because she is so preoccupied with her own problems, she has neglectedher duties as a mother.
She, in her distress, has pushed her son away from her. This disagreement over Phemius only shows the deep chasm that has come betweenthem. As for Telemachus, he makes the same mistakes as his mother in that herefuses to see her side of the issue. He, too, is deeply engrossed in hisproblems that he does not see the deep extent of his mothers pain.
Himordering her to leave is a sign that he believes her feelings to be almostinconsequential compared to his. His eagerness to learn of Odysseus greatdeeds seems to overshadow the sadness his mother feels. The tales of the TrojanWar are the only way in which he can come to know his father, who he does notremember, since Penelope obviously avoids the topic entirely. He needs to knowhis legacy. Most importantly, he is searching for a way to justify hisfathers absence, and to justify why he has left Ithaca in such a state ofdisorder. However, his quest for his legacy was not the only reason he had fordefending Phemius.
It was also caused by his resentment towards his mother forhaving known his father and not telling him about him. He feels that his motherhas prevented him from gaining an understanding of his heritage. Thisdisagreement over Phemius was a window to the anger that Telemachus had towardshis mother for not familiarizing him with the legacy of his father. Anotherreason Telemachus was so quick to rebuke Penelope was his deep desire to exerthis power and his dominance, his rightful dominance over the household. Byordering his mother to leave the hall, he is showing to the suitors that it ishe, not his mother, who has more power.
When he declares that he is master ofthe house, partially caused by the newfound courage distilled in him by Athena,he is introducing a new him. This was his opportunity to establish his positionabove the suitors and prepare for his announcement that he will go search forhis father. This disagreement allowed Telemachus to step into the limelight, andexpress himself as a force to be reckoned with.Mythology