The Odyssey is a well known epic that brings the reader through the tale of how Odysseus and his family reunited. Odysseus spent twenty years away from his son, Telemachus, and his wife, Penelope. He was away for ten years at Troy and spent the other ten years on his journey back to his native land, Ithaca. Within the epic, author Homer reveals characters of gods and goddesses throughout the poem who impacted the families journey. One importantly, was the goddess of wisdom and war, Athena. She stayed present through the entire book playing a very important role in the story as she mentored both Odysseus and Telemachus in their journey to reach each other and regain their place in the palace. Above all Athena is the true hero in the Odyssey as multiple times she would be admired for her noble guidance, strategies, and loyalty.
In The Odyssey, by Homer, Athena influences the lives of Odysseus and his family. In Greek mythology, gods challenge and control mortals. Gods also provide support to mortals and thus, mortals depend and act on behalf of the gods and their decisions. Athena, daughter of Zeus, is the goddess of wisdom, and both Telemachus and Odysseus benefit from her power. Athena possesses the ability to disguise herself and others, and this skill allows her to give advice and guidance. For example, Athena uses her power of disguise to help Telemachus on his journey to find his father. She continues to use this power to disguise Odysseus as a beggar to allow him to reunite with his family and prove his power and worth to Penelope among the suitors. Telemachus and Odysseus are ultimately victorious because of Athena’s power; in fact, Athena is the hero of this epic poem.
Athena is a major character throughout the book of The Odyssey and is known as the goddess of wisdom and battle. Throughout the course of the book, it is evident that Athena has a weak spot for the main character, Odysseus. Odysseus is trying to return home after the Trojan War, as the other Greek hero’s have already done, however he faces multiple challenges a long the way. Fortunately, for Odysseus, Athena was there to guide him through a few of these troubling situations.
Odysseus has grown from the man he was before, as now he finds comfort and safety in obeying the gods when in the past he did not consider their wishes. Odysseus has only returned due to Athena and he has recognized that and his compliance is founded in his appreciation and respect for her. Odysseus is now a hero due to the obedience he now has to the gods, founded in a sense of humility. Through Odysseus’ experiences on his journey, he learns the value of obedience and dangers of arrogance and ultimately, become a hero through the lessons learned.
Should destiny intend that he shall see his roof again among his family in his father land, far be that day, and dark the years between. Let him lose all companions, and return under strange sail to bitter days at home. " The theme of divine intervention is shown as Poseidon hinders Odysseus on his way to Ithaca by the curse, which made it years before Odysseus returns home whereas he would have returned in a matter of days, had Aeolus helped Odysseus again, but he didn't because he believed "their voyage has been cursed by the gods" (Homer 16). Homer demonstrates Athena's divine intervention through her providence towards Odysseus. Athena aids Odysseus multiple times throughout The Odyssey, an example of this is when she disguises Odysseus as a beggar in book 17 of The Odyssey to protect him from the suitors.
Even after this, Athena feels like she deserves more credit for Odysseus’ journey home than he gives
In Greek society, there are many valued characteristics of the hero Odysseus which are still valued today. These traits may not be as important in today’s modern world, but there is no doubt that Odysseus is an epic hero. In Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus proves that he is an epic hero through divine intervention in the Call, where he blinds Polyphemus in the Challenges, and the Atonement, where he goes through a transformation. Odysseus reveals the help of the gods as he plots with Telemachus against the suitors who are plaguing his home to take back what is rightfully his in the Call.
Poseidon Endangering Odysseus Throughout homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey, the main character, Odysseus, goes through many physical and mental challenges and hardships. One of the greatest challenges that Odysseus overcame to get home was the wrath of Poseidon. Throughout the whole epic poem, most problems Odysseus faced can be traced back to Poseidon.
In The Odyssey, the character Odysseus can be considered a hero because he demonstrates many characteristics that are attributable to most heroes. After the battle at Troy, Odysseus strives to sail back to his homeland (Ithaca); however, he encounters some issues along the way and Poseidon attempts to make it impossible for Odysseus to return home. At the beginning of this journey, Odysseus wants to make it back to Ithaca with all of his crew alive. This selfless goal displays Odysseus acting for the greater good because he knows that these men have families that depend on them and would like for them to come home. Along the journey home, Odysseus and his crew come across a cyclops and become trapped in the cyclops’ cave.
Athena praises Odysseus for his smarts but seems to ignore his obvious faults. In the time he is being swept all over the Mediterranean sea, more and more problems that stem from poor planning happen. At some point Athena should catch on to this. Or, she already has and for some reason ignores his transgressions. Overall though, once Odysseus arrives home, he will have to deal with the angry suitors in such a way that it doesn’t backfire on him and lead to more strife.
First of all, even though Odysseus changes the Phaeacians’ minds about him in Books 8-13 when he tells his story, Athena tacks initial problem-solving on the victim. According to Athena, and to Homer, it is the victim’s duty to protect themselves from what the xenophobic public might do, by hiding who they truly are. Odysseus is used to being powerful -- the most important man in the room. Hiding himself must be torture for him, which is maybe what Homer was trying to achieve. Secondly, this is not a long-term solution for Odysseus or anyone seeking long-term guidance from the story.
Do not sail openly into port when you reach your home- country. Make a secret approach. Women, I tell you, are no longer to be trusted” (Homer 151). This quote foreshadows when Athena cloaks him into a beggar, not only was it too hide his identity from the suitors but it was also used to test the loyalty of his wife and see if the suitors had gotten to her. Another piece of wisdom Odysseus gains is his self control.
World Literature Paper – Role of Athena and Penelope in The Odyssey Homer’s, The Odyssey is an epic which was written many years ago. At that time, in Ancient Greek society, the dominant role was played by men and the women were considered and given an inferior position. But The Odyssey was often considered a women’s epic because women played an important role. Women in The Odyssey are portrayed as powerful, wise and controlling because they ensure that the illusion of male success will go on - they speak as men through women.
First, Athena makes a plan for Odysseus to meet Princess Nausicaa on Phaiacia. The two Greeks do meet, and even though Odysseus is a complete stranger, which the Phaiacians are not fond of, that Nausicaa is aware of, the princess welcomes Odysseus and makes a plan for him to stay in her father Alcinoos’ palace. When Odysseus arrives in the palace of Alcinoos, he is given a throne in which Alcinoos’ son Laodamas was previously sitting in, and is given a feast. “There they were, face to face: the King in his majesty, and the castaway with only his knowledge of man and his ready wit. Alcinoos held his hand out to Odysseus and led him from the hearth to a high seat where his own son was sitting, near himself, for he loved the courteous Laodamas best of all his sons.