Laërtês is Odysseus' father, and Odysseus is often given the title, "Son of Laërtês" (87). According to Athena, he "comes to town no longer, stays up country, ailing, with only one old woman to prepare his meat and drink when pain and stiffness take him in the legs from working on his terraced plot, his vineyard" (7). Penélopê delays her suitors by telling them she must finish Laërtês' funeral shroud before she can pick one of them.


Laertes, in book XXIV, is tricked by Odysseus, his son, into thinking that Odysseus is still not home from his journey. Laertes has not yet heard the news of the suitors death, or more importantly that his son is home. Odysseus, as a man named Quarrelman, told Laertes that he held his son as a welcomed guest 5 years ago. Soon after, Odysseus tells his father that it is he, and that "Twenty years gone, and here I've come again to my own land!" (454).

- OB

Laertes is ecstatic to see his family back together after 20 years apart. "'Ah, what a day for me, dear gods! to see my son and grandson vie in courage!'" (461). He is delighted to see Odysseus and Telemakhos eager to defend their family and values and to see that the three of them, grandfather, father, and son, can all get along together so well even after being apart for such a long time.