The Role Of Athena And Penelope In Homer's Odyssey

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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. Amongst the many women portrayed in the book, the two most important women are Athena and Penelope. Athena is the Goddess of wisdom, courage, law & justice, strength and skills. She plays the role of a mentor in disguise for Odysseus but doesn’t show him the full path to his destination as Athena wants Odysseus to fight and prevail on his own. Penelope is the wife of Odysseus and the mortal queen of Ithaca. She is portrayed as the average Greek woman, but in reality is very cunning. Though both these women are two different characters, their roles are similar, and they both are equally powerful. They are cunning; teach Xenia; develop Odysseus’ character; and an important role in their families. Athena is the cunning Goddess who guides Odysseus back to Ithaca for his family and countrymen without letting him know her reality – she disguises herself every now and then to help him by testing him and his knowledge. Though Odysseus only sees her as a

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