The gods play vital role in Homer’s Odyssey, however none is more present or beneficial than Athena!


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In the Iliad, the gods have prominent and consistent roles. Lock are current in numerous battles and their influence is noticeable throughout the Trojan War.

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The Odyssey mirrors the gods as involved, but in a much much more indirect way. By and large, they seem to have distanced us from the affairs of men.

While Poseidon’s anger towards Odysseus drives the story, the god himself rarely appears. Zeus, too, does no make himself directly known come the lost hero.

The notable exception to the far-off gods in the Odyssey is Athena. The goddess that wisdom and also war dram a crucial role together a mentor, advisor, and resource of strength.

How essential was Athena’s aid in the Odyssey? there is no the goddess, Odysseus might never have actually made it residence to Ithaca, and he certainly would not have actually regained his throne!

Athena as the Hero’s Patron

The goddess that wisdom and also war, Athena, was additionally considered the patroness of heroes. Legendary numbers such together Heracles and also Perseus regularly received help from the goddess on your quests.

While she was a warrior, however, Athena’s greatest presents were because that those who provided cunning and also intelligence to success their fights. In this, she seemed specifically favorable towards Odysseus.

Athena is one almost continuous source the inspiration and also assistance in the Odyssey. If she seldom makes herself known at an early stage in the travels of Odysseus, by the time he reaches Ithaca she proves to have played a significant role in his story.

Before the journey of Odysseus began, he and the other Greek commanders had earn the ire of the goddess by desecrating her temple in Troy. When she appears to have actually softened toward Odysseus, however, she remains at a distance.


Athena occasionally shows up to Odysseus in dreams and indirectly helps him v his voyage. As his trip nears the end, however, she starts to take a more personal duty in shaping his actions.

Because the Odyssey is told the end of chronological order, Athena’s intervention on instead of of Odysseus occurs in book 5. By this suggest the hero has actually been traveling for virtually a decade and also Athena finally intercedes top top his behalf.

When Poseidon, who had actually a long-standing grudge versus the Ithacan king, is missing Athena petitions Zeus to permit Odysseus to return home. In ~ his daughter’s request, the king that the god orders Calypso to release Odysseus from she island.

After seven years with the nymph, Odysseus is sent out away top top a raft. Once Poseidon discovers this he sinks the little vessel, yet Odysseus is saved by Athena and also a useful sea nymph.

He washes ashore on the island that Phaecia, whereby Athena disguises herself together a neighborhood girl to overview the king daughter to Odysseus.

The Phaecians take their guest home, wherein Athena has been liven guiding the resides of those Odysseus care about.

When the hero left for the Trojan War, his kid Telemachus was an infant. ~ twenty years, however, Telemachus is grown and also his mother, Penelope, is surrounded by would-be suitors.

Athena take away the guise of Mentor, one old friend of the family, to guide Telemachus in his father’s absence. She urges him to speak out against Penelope’s suitors and, believing the males to be a threat, arranges a delivery to take Odysseus’s child to security Pylos and also to seek information in Sparta.


When the suitors learn Telemachus is gone, castle conspire come assassinate him once he returns to Ithaca. Once much more Athena guides the family, giving courage and wisdom to Penelope to store her safe.

Odysseus and also Telemachus both return to Ithaca at the exact same time. Athena disguises Odysseus as a beggar therefore he deserve to sneak right into his palace, but removes the disguise and makes that appear solid and youthful as soon as his son finally meets him.

Athena likewise makes Penelope an ext beautiful and young looking to prepare for her husband’s return.

And Odysseus and also Telemachus work-related to regain regulate of Ithaca from Penelope’s suitors, Athena appears even more intent than the king and prince on it spreads widely revenge. Return she bids Odysseus to learn who amongst them is a an excellent man, she decides that none room worth sparing.

Athena renders Odysseus more powerful in preparation for his fight against the suitors. Top top the work the suitors will compete for Penelope’s hand, the goddess assures him that he will certainly not fail.

Athena may have prevented Penelope indigenous recognizing she husband, yet she did accumulate the queen to select a job for the suitors that only Odysseus would succeed at. His bow, i beg your pardon he had actually left behind when he went to war, had been especially strung in a method only he knew and also the suitors were charged v restringing it.

When just the claimed beggar regulated to wire the bow, the battle begins. Athena help Odysseus and also Telemachus kill all the angry men, both striking in ~ foes herself and also protecting them from harm.


When Odysseus and Penelope are ultimately reunited, Athena holds earlier the dawn to provide them more time together. He climate goes to be rejoined with his yonsei father even as the family members of the suitors relocate toward revenge.

Athena help Odysseus a final time by preventing a civil battle on Ithaca. She offers his father the strength to strike under the leader that the suitors’ families, then commands the people of Ithaca come disperse and also accept Odysseus as their returned king.

My contemporary Interpretation

Athena frequently helped the heroes the Greek mythology, yet she is especially existing in the story that Odysseus.


Throughout his story, the heroic king is marked by his wit and also intelligence. He regularly uses cunning to escape the countless dangers he faces.

This characterization makes Odysseus specifically aligned v Athena. The goddess of wisdom was believed to prioritize strategy in war fairly than simply brute force.

This alignment is not totally left to the reader’s interpretation. Athena herself speak Odysseus the he is prefer her because she knows plenty of tricks together well.

While Athena is the goddess the knowledge, she supplies a absence of knowledge to assist Odysseus. The disguises and also deceptions she employs to save both her own identity and that that the hero secret are her many frequent form of assistance.

By depriving others of the understanding of her plans and also Odysseus’s arrival, Athena permits the hero to success in his search to return home and also enact revenge ~ above the suitors who tormented his wife and son.

Athena walk not just keep expertise from others, however. She also imparts good knowledge.


Much that her assist is not offered to Odysseus himself, however to his son Telemachus. When his father performed heroic feats, the prince to be personally advised by the goddess.

By guiding Telemachus without revealing her identity, Athena help the young prince to prosper into a future ruler. If he starts the Odyssey unsure of exactly how to resolve his mom suitors and the threat to his very own position, Athena helps him to become much more commanding and confident.

In this way, the goddess does more than reunite the father and son. She serves as a surrogate come Telemachus, giving him the class in management he would have been teach by Odysseus.

The gods kept Odysseus away from house throughout Telemachus’s childhood, very first through the Trojan War and then with Poseidon’s hatred toward him. By guiding Telemachus, Athena assisted to make up for the action of the gods.

The final publication of the Odyssey describes the reunion the Odysseus and also his boy with his very own father, the former King Laertes. Simply as Telemachus has actually been deprived that his father’s lessons, Laertes has also suffered indigenous Odysseus’s absence.

Athena restores the elderly king strength and vitality, helping to erase the affects of the hardships he has faced. Through the finish of the Odyssey, Athena’s treatment has revived the ideal relationships in between the generations the Ithacan rulers and also ensured the the kingdom will stay peaceful and prosperous.

Laertes comments the he is pleasure to check out his son and also grandson as near amounts to in valor. Both former kings restored, Athena’s guidance of Telemachus ensured that the line of strong Ithacan rulers would continue and the country would not permanently suffer due to the fact that of the king’s long absence.


In Summary

Athena serves together a patroness come Odysseus during the Odyssey. While her influence is indirect during the hero’s travels, she plays a an essential role in the occasions that take location in Ithaca.

Athena personally petitions she father, Zeus, to permit Odysseus come return residence after ten years at sea. Once Poseidon tries come intervene, Athena conserves the hero’s life and also brings him to those who will assist him.

In Ithaca, Athena is even much more closely involved. She bring away on the function of Mentor, one old woman, to overview Telemachus and help him grow into a confident leader.

She keeps the prince safe against the increasingly dangerous machinations the his mummy suitors till Odysseus have the right to return. Once the father and son room reunited, she gives them the wisdom and strength to outsmart and also overpower the men who have actually taken over their palace.

Finally, Athena ensures that no additional violence will spring indigenous the deaths that the suitors. When their family members seek vengeance, Athena forbids escalation of the conflict.

Athena does an ext for Odysseus than aid him reclaim the throne for himself. She restores vitality come both him and his father and also guides his boy in his absence.

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While the Trojan War and also the Odyssey, both caused by the action of the gods, dilute the state the Ithaca, the assistance provided by Athena left the country stronger and more stable rather of permanently ruined.