The Odyssey

The Odyssey: Actions of Gods

In “The Odyssey” by Homer, gods are always going around and meddling in the lives of the mortals.   In some cases, the gods are around motivating the mortals, or making life difficult.   Odysseus has been away at war for years and has been trying to get home, but Poseidon makes this a difficult mission.   With Odysseus being gone for so long, his son Telemachus is left at home holding down the palace.   Athena comes to Telemachus, telling him to stick up for himself and the palace.  
Telemachus has been at Odysseus’ palace in Ithaca for years, not taking action and not taking care of business as he should.   Suitors have been ruining his house, “[his] house is being devoured, [his] rich farms destroyed, [his] palace crammed with enemies…” (4.366).   It’s awful to hear that Odysseus’ common people are treating his house with such disrespect.   When Odysseus was there, being king, he would treat his people well, but now they do the opposite.   Sappho puts this act into words with her poem:
Strange to say

Those whom I treated
well are those who do
me the most injury now
Sappho 77

Athena is the master-puppeteer of the Odyssey.   She is the one who makes Telemachus stand up to the suitors and she is the one who helps Odysseus finally come home. In book one, Athena approaches Telemachus in disguise and tells him that he needs to stand up to the horrible suitors who are intruding in his father’s palace.   Odysseus has been away at war for years and years, and Penelope has been without a husband.   It is expected of her to have a husband around ruling the palace, which is why the suitors are there courting her.
Telemachus should have chased away these men by now, but instead he has just sitting around, letting them wreck havoc in the palace.   Athena comes to him, and orders him to fix this, and that he needs to get rid of the suitors and go find out what has happened to his father.   “…seen them through, think hard, reach down deep...