Throughout a substantial amount of classic Greek literature, from Sophocles through Homer, there is a strong thematic concern with the interaction of the gods, fate and human existence. Constituting one of the early cornerstone elements of Greek and Western literature, the…
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r narrative developments that are affected by the god’s, including Athena’s interventions with Telemachus, Zeus’ release of Odysseus from Calypso’s island, and the aid Athena and Ino supply Odyssey in escaping Poseidon’s storm, this essay show the various ways that the actions of the gods affect the characters of the Odyssey and how these god’s interventions affect the action of the Odyssey.
One of the first instances of the god’s actions affecting the characters within the Odyssey occurs in Book I as the Godess Athena assumes the form of Odysseus trusted ally Mentes. Athena visits Telemachus and assures him that his father, Odysseus, is still alive and will, in a short period of time, return to Ithaca. Athena than suggests that Telemachus banish the suitors and that he should visit Sparta to attempt to collect any possible information he can about Odysseus’ return to Ithaca. Athena directly affects Telemachus in this regard, as after she leaves he sets out to confront his mother, Penelope, and then calls a meeting to inform the suitors that they are to leave the land of his father. He states, “I hold the reins of power in this house” (I.414). Although two of the suitors object to Telemachus’ request, the instant nonetheless is significant in that it constitutes the initial instance wherein the god’s interfere in the story.
In Book II Athena continues her interference in the lives of the characters within the Odyssey, this time more directly effecting events. After Telemachus speaks to the suitors and receives a number of objections on the grounds that Penelope is complicit in seducing the men that live on the property, Athena appears in the form of Mentor and assures Telemachus that his journey to Sparta will be beneficial in discovering the truth of his father’s whereabouts. Athena then takes the form of Telemachus and gathers the necessary men and supplies for the real Telemachus’ future journey. As Mentor, she then tells
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