2. He sees new countries, talks with famous men, and partakes of their wisdom. Chiefly, however, he hears of the grand Return in its manifold phases; he learns the story of those who failed, of those who reached home, like Nestor and Menelaus. Great is the lesson; this Return images the movement of the soul, the breach within and the restoration. It is remotely his own inner life outlined, and that of every man; Telemachus has just made a separation from home and country, to which he must come back and be reconciled. His own soul-form he must dimly feel in the great Return of the Heroes from Troy, and their various destinies he must recognize to be his own possibilities.
3. Telemachus the aspiring youth, is trying to recover his patrimony, which is of two kinds, physical and spiritual. The Suitors are destroying the one, and keeping it out of his hands; with them is one conflict, that of justice. But he must also inherit his father's mental riches; he has to separate from home and his mother to find this form of wealth or even to learn of its nature. So Telemachus has his Trojan expedition, not so great in itself, yet, adventurous enough for a boy. He is moving on the lines of his father when the latter went to Troy—a national affair; but his deed is a breaking loose from boyhood—the breach out of which he is to come back a man.
4. The form of this educative process of the Odyssey is very different from ours. It seizes hold of the mythical element in man, and the reader of to-day is to penetrate to the meaning by something of an effort. Telemachus is to see Helen; what does that signify in education? He is to hear the Tale of Proteus and feel its purport in relation to his own discipline. One asks: Is not this imaginative form still a vital element of education? The Odyssey has been and is now a school-book of the race.