The Odyssey

Odysseus and Athena: Friends

The characters in Homer's The Odyssey are forever at the mercy of the Gods, those immortals who live in the heights of Mount Olympus, and who, on occasion, walk the lands of earth. Throughout the epic poem the main characters are visited quite often at pivotal times in the storyline. No god visits these characters more than Pallas Athena, the goddess daughter of Zeus, and no character is visited more by the Gods then the protagonist, King Odysseus. In Book XIII, upon Odysseus's long-awaited and unofficial arrival at the shores of Ithaca, Athena presents herself before him as a young shepherd boy. Careful analysis of related scenes throughout the book and this passage will show that Odysseus knew he was in the presence of the goddess before she revealed herself to him, and, in so doing, shed light on an aspect of their relationship that may have been overlooked by the casual reader.

The gods appear before and manipulate the minds of many of the characters in The Odyssey, and most of the time the person is not privy to the presence of the god.

Athena's presence, however, on more than one occasion is detected by the characters of the book. The first time the goddess is detected occurs in Book I, when Athena visits...

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