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Free Essay on Homer’s Odyssey: Penelope and Odysseus

Homer’s Odyssey: Penelope and Odysseus

Homer revealed the characters’ inner thoughts to add to the suspense that builds up in books 19 and 20 of The Odyssey. Some question whether Odysseus was recognized by Penelope and if this helped to build up the intensity of the story. Joseph Russo mentioned this topic in “Interview and Aftermath: Dream, Fantasy and Intuition in Odyssey 19

Free Essays on Homer’s Odyssey: The Goddess Athena

The Goddess Athena and Homer’s Odyssey

In Greek mythology, there are many, many gods and goddesses that the people prayed to on a regular basis for everyday things we take for granted. There was usually a different deity for anything a person wanted to pray for: love, money, children, success or almost anything else one could think of or want. People today are amazed at the number of gods there were and how people could remember which god did what. We study these today but still get easily confused, which is understandable. Athena was a very prominent goddess, especially in Athens and she is also featured throughout Homer’s Odyssey. Many confuse her with Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Actually, Athena is known as the goddess of war, practical reason, wisdom, and handicraft. She was also known as the protector of the city of Athens.

Athena’s birth in itself, not to mention the other feats she was acknowledged for, is interesting. She is the daughter of Zeus and a mortal woman named Metis which means cunning. When Zeus found out that Metis was pregnant, he became fearful that the resulting child would surpass him in strength. Not knowing what else to do, he swallowed Metis whole. For some reason, this caused him to have a terrible headache so he asked another god to split open his skull with an axe. Athena sprang out from Zeus’ head fully grown holding a spear (Stockton).

Athens began as a city-state which was ruled by a monarchy. As the city-state adopted democracy, Athena emerged as the city’s protectress (Athena Polias) (Athena, par.4). One of her symbols was the owl which Athenians used on the city’s coins (Stockton, 3). She engaged in a contest with Posiden for the rights to the city of Athens and won (Athena, par. 5).

The Parthenon was built on the Acropolis to honor Athena, but mostly because it honored Athens itself to build it (Stockton, 4). The Athenians wanted it to house a giant statue of gold and ivory which was made by a man named Pheidias (Stockton, 1). “Pheidias’ forty-foot high statue of Athena Parthenos consisted of a frame made of wood, metal, clay, and plaster. Athena’s clothing was of gold-plate—made removable in case of emergency. Athena’s face, hands, and feet were of ivory, her eyes of precious jewels. She stood wearing a foot-length dress and a helmet, a crowned symbol of victory in her right hand and a spear in her left.

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