Sunday, April 27, 2014

Thoughts on Athena: Is she biased or impartial?

Throughout the entirety of The Odyssey, Athena often intervenes in the mortal world a great amount of times; however, it becomes apparent that she tends to be much kinder towards Odysseus and Telemachus rather than any other person in relation to the “divine intervention” category. While I was reading, I found myself wondering what it was that causes Athena to treat Odysseus and his son better than, for example, the suitors. I realize that the suitors’ rude behavior and misdemeanors, such as stealing, are not exactly what would be considered the right thing to do, and I also realize that Athena would want the punish them for their actions, but because I practice the faith of Christianity, it’s hard for me to understand why a God would be willing to help a mortal plot the murder(s) of another mortal. At one point in the book, Athena “wished Odysseus mortified still more” of the suitors, and she tempts Eurymachus to insult Odysseus further (page 347). This confused me even more, knowing that Athena planned on getting rid of the suitors later on, yet she still continues to egg on Eurymachus to do more bad things. Athena seems to be a little biased toward Odysseus and Telemachus, and I’m wondering if that is because of Odysseus’s large amount of power in the mortal world. In comparison to my religion, it’s difficult to understand why a God wouldn’t treat every person equally, no matter his or her social level or class. I also find it very unfair to their society that one of their Gods would treat one person different from another person just because of how much power he or she had, especially if those people truly worshipped that particular God. Nevertheless, I still favor Athena for her help towards Odysseus and Telemachus because I personally like the both of them for their courage and bravery, and I want everything to work out for them.

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