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.
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.
Athena, from the root Athens, is the Greek virgin Goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. Athena is a interesting goddess who has a peculiar family history, many interesting symbols and representations, and some legendary stories. Athena is the daughter of Zeus and Metis. Zeus had many children, and Athena’s siblings include: Ares, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Hermes, and Dionysus. Athena was Zeus’ favorite child.
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.
Two female characters are Penelope and Athena. Penelope is the beautiful wife of Odysseus. She hasn't seen her husband for twenty years and fears he is dead. She is pursued by many suitors who wish to take Odysseus' place. She weeps for Odysseus nightly. Some criticize that she doesn't kick the suitors out of her home because she likes attention. However, she has been without her husband for so long while he has been entertained by goddesses. If she wanted a little attention, then that would not be such a horrible thing. Nevertheless, she remains steadfast in her faithfulness to her husband. She even puts off the suitors using trickery that would make her husband proud, promising to remarry once she has finished weaving a shroud for Laertes,
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.
Many stories had Ares portrayed with a hotheaded personality. In one of the most highly regarded stories in Greek mythology, “The Iliad,” Ares is on the Trojan’s side of the war. As stated on Mythagora.com, “Ares was clearly on the side of the Trojans when the Achaeans laid siege to the city of Troy… During the siege of Troy, Athena stood against Ares and was victorious on several occasions,” (Mythagora.com). The reason that Ares was so clearly on the Trojan’s side was because of Aphrodite.
The Odyssey, gods like Athena and Poseidon interfere with humans to satisfy their own desires, showing that they are just as imperfect and flawed as the mortals that they rule over. Athena favors Odysseus since he reminds her of herself. He portrays the same cunning, guile, and intelligence as she does; Athena had confided to him that “two of a kind, we are, contrivers, both,” comparing how similar they are. “Of all men now alive,” she says, “you are the best in plots and story telling.
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
Since the beginning of time man has waged war with catastrophic outcomes for many reasons. The Trojan war was the brutal fight for Helen, the fairest woman of the known world. Was it the revenge seeked by Gods and mortals? Or was it the justice seeked by Gods and mortals? Gods and mortals fought a brutal war for what they thought was right and to get back at past evils. The actions inspired by vengeance and justice in Homer’s Iliad shows how detrimental the effects can be on others.
“Father Zeus, doesn’t it infuriate you to see this violence? We gods get the worst of it from each other whenever we try to help out men. Why did you have to give birth to that madwoman, your marauding daughter who is always breaking the rules? All the rest of us gods, everyone on Olympus, listens to you. But she can say or do whatever she wants.”
Women are greatly judged by their looks throughout the book. They believe that a woman is successful if any of her direct family have an important position (e.g. King, God) or is a heroic figure. Even though Athena and Calypso are very different, one evident similarity, is their ability to influence and control men. Athena greatly interferes in Telemachus’ and Odysseus’ lives by utilizing her intellect. Her power, influence and control on men can either be seen as a positivity or as a negativity.
When Athena, a goddess, realizes that her weaving competition with Arachne, a mortal, would end in a draw, the text states, “...she tore Arachne’s tapestry from top to bottom and began to beat the girl,” (85). Because Athena has supernatural powers, she should be viewed as a superior being. However, in this story, although Arachne is a mortal, she is able to weave at a comparable level of skill to Athena, a goddess. This causes Athena to feel envious of Arachne’s abilities, and in an effort to weaken Arachne, Athena destroys Arachne’s work and beats her. Athena’s behavior is similar to humans’ behavior when attempting to invalidate and undermine that people they are jealous and envious of.