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Athena Intervention In The Odyssey

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The Odyssey is an epic poem written by the blind, illiterate poet Homer. It takes place in ancient Greece and tells of a man’s journey home from war. The topic, intervention of the gods, is seen throughout the book numerous times as the gods who are in favor of Odysseus lend a helping hand. It is well-known that the gods are very important to the Greeks. In this epic poem, The Odyssey, Homer demonstrates the importance of the positive and encouraging intervention of the gods in Greek culture; the brave actions, encouraging words, and cunning strategies of Athena as she assists and guides Odysseus on his journey back home. Homer demonstrates the positive, encouraging intervention of the gods through the brave actions of Athena as she…show more content…
In Book 5, when all of the gods, except for Poseidon, discuss the fate of Odysseus, Athena fights for Odysseus to get her father, Zeus, to intervene and give aid to Odysseus. Athena says to Zeus, “Not one of the people whom he ruled remembers Odysseus nom that godlike man…Now he’s left to pine on an island, racked with grief” (5.12-14). Athena’s use of words such as “he’s left to pine on an island, racked with grief” shows the use of Flattery towards Zeus to feel pity for Odysseus. By getting Zeus to feel pity, this strategy encourages him to favor Odysseus because of Odysseus’ situation. The reader also sees this in Book 7 as Odysseus calls out to Athena through a prayer. Odysseus says, “Athena! Hear my prayers at last, for you have never heard me then, when I was shattered…Grant that here among the Phaecian people I many find some mercy and some love!” (7.356-357, 359-360). Here, Odysseus tells Athena that she is all he has left and through her immortal powers, she is the only god still on his side who can help him in his time of need. Therefore, through Athena’s encouraging words, she is able to make Odysseus feel uplifted and more useful, especially as Odysseus is, at this point, very hopeless and miserably…show more content…
First of all, in Book 6, as Odysseus washes up onto shore in Scheria, Athena goes to Nausicaa, the daughter of King Alcinous, ina dream so Nausicaa will wash her clothes near the shore and so happen to “run into” Odysseus. In the dream, Athena says to Nausicaa, “Come, let’s go wash these clothes at the break of day…It’s so much nicer for you to ride than go on foot. The washing-pools are just too far from town” (6.34-35, 43-44). When Athena insists and says “ride than go on foot,” it shows how cunning she is as she encourages Nausicaa to get to Odysseus as fast as possible. Athena, knowing that she set up everything perfectly, helps Oddyseus finally get the help he needs from King Alcinous and his people in order to bring him closer to home. Another way Athena shows her cunning strategies is in Book 7 as she covers Odysseus in a mist and disguises herself as a little girl as they go into town to see the king and queen of Scheria. …says, “Pallas Athena, harboring kindness for the hero, drifted a heavy mist around him, shielding him from any swaggering islander who’d cross his path” (7.15-17). Athena, drifting the mist around Odysseus, helps him traverse smoother and easier into town. This allowed him to concentrate on how he is going to present himself to King Alcinous instead of
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