The Odyssey

The Evolution of Civil Justice

When contemplating the ultimate nature of the Greek gods and the ensuing roles they play in human affairs, it is helpful to view instances of divine intervention through the actions of the goddess Athena. Athena occupies a central place in The Iliad, The Odyssey, and the Oresteia. Each work elucidates various traits of Athena, which can be better understood within the context of the different stories. While Athenas overall persona remains constant throughout each of the stories, various, and at times contradictory attributes manifest themselves as the main themes of each work fall into place.

Within The Iliad Athena represents the Greek army and fervently backs them, both on the battlefield and on Mt. Olympus. She is characterized by her war like persona, fighting and positioning herself at the forefront of the action. Athena demonstrates her leadership abilities throughout the Iliadand also her resourceful and diplomatic nature. During the beginning of The Iliad, Athena intervenes in the story instructing Achilles that she has "come to check your rage". The Iliad as a whole represents a more contentious epicconflict and war are all permeating aspects of the work. Thus, Athenas actions within the Iliad portray her...

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