How Does Athena Help Odysseus?

Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, household crafts, and war, was a multifaceted deity. She was associated with war, but not with bloodlust and violence; instead, she valued strategy, skill, and justice. In the Odyssey, Athena is portrayed as wise and strategic in helping the protagonist Odysseus. She uses her powers to assist him in his most difficult moments, ensuring that he is able to return home. However, she does not act as his personal servant, deciding for herself when to give him help. When Odysseus asks for her help in fending off the suitors in his house, Athena scolds him and reminds him of his strength and capabilities in battle. She does not immediately give in to his requests, displaying her independence from men. Athena’s words are also a form of encouragement, alleviating his doubts and assuring him that he is capable of winning the battle. Before the fight picks up again, Athena uses her powers to give Odysseus an advantage, but she does not give him too much of her assistance. She exercises self-control in how much strength she allows him to gain from her, pushing him to fight for himself and be hailed as a mighty warrior, while also ensuring that he is not severely harmed in the process. She still watches over Odysseus and Telemachus from high above the battle as they fend off the suitors, providing reassurance that she will be there to protect them if the battle turns against them.


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