Roles of the Greek Gods in the Odyssey of Homer

Topics: Odyssey, Odysseus, Greek mythology Pages: 3 (1174 words) Published: April 21, 2013
Throughout the epic of The Odyssey of Homer, Odysseus, the main protagonist, receives help, and is frowned upon by the gods. There are many gods, and goddesses who play significant roles in Odysseus’ journey back to his homeland of Ithaca.

Athena, the gray-eyed goddess, or the daughter of Zeus, is the most predominant goddess in the epic. One of Athena’s roles is to act as a guardian towards Telemachus. In the beginning, Athena travels to Ithaca in the guise of Mentes, and states to Telemachus, Odysseus’ son, “I’m Mentes, son of wise Anchialus; the Taphian, tenacious oarsmen are the people I rule….For bright Odysseus has not died upon this Earth: he is alive somewhere, delayed upon an island set among vast waves, held by harsh savages against his will”, (Homer, and Mandelbaum, p.9-10). Athena is stating that Odysseus, Telemachus’ father is alive, and later on tells Telemachus to “asks the lord of Ithaca to gather here tomorrow; then speak to all, and let the gods be witnesses. Command the suitors to scatter, each on his own way…Find the fittest ship and, with a crew of twenty oarsmen, seek some word of your long-absent father- for a mortal may have heard word of him…” (Homer, and Mandelbaum, p.12-13). Athena is influencing Telemachus to demand that the suitors leave Odysseus’ halls and that he should set sail in search of word of his father. After Odysseus’ arrival back to Ithaca, Telemachus, who is still in Sparta, is urged to return home by Athena, “Telemachus, don’t wander from your house too long when you have left behind your wealth, with men so arrogant within your gates…” (Homer, and Mandelbaum, p.295). After hearing the words of Athena, Telemachus chose to return home to Ithaca. Athena also acts as Odysseus’ guardian during his journey home, and even after he had reached his homeland. When Odysseus washes upon the shores of Scheria, he is met by Nausicaa, the daughter of the king of the Phaeacians, who takes him to her father’s halls. Upon departure for...
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