God's Use Of Deception In The Homeric Hymns

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Deception is used by both gods and humans to accomplish their goals, whether that be a sinister or positive goal. Though human’s use of deception has created noteworthy Greek myths, the god’s use of deception is more prevalent and relevant in Ancient Greek culture. When examining three examples of god’s deceptive actions, Aphrodite’s, Athena’s, and Prometheus’s, the role for which the gods use deception becomes more clear. These three myths are examples that emphasize how gods usually have similar intentions, employ a heightened sense of deception, and encounter the power of Zeus when enacting the various forms of deception.
To begin, Hymn to Aphrodite, specifically lines 45-290 in The Homeric Hymns shows not only Aphrodite’s deception to Anchises but Zeus’s power to deceive Aphrodite with her own influence. In this instance, Aphrodite masks that fact she is a goddess by telling Anchises that she is born of the mortal Otreus (Hymn to Aphrodite 111). She uses this deception because she knows Anchises would not sleep with her if he knew she was immortal. This is because Anchises knows that mortals who sleep with immortals are never treated well after. Therefore, she must deceive him into believing she is a
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In the Odyssey, Athena deceives not only Telemachus but Odysseus as well. She does this essentially because she would not be able to achieve her goals if they were aware she was in fact Athena. If Telemachus had known that Athena was posing as his father’s friend, Mentes, he may not have taken her message to heart (Odyssey 1.137-374). Athena needed Telemachus to realize he was the son of Odysseus so he could stand up to the suitors. He would not have done this if he did not believe it was Odysseus’s old friend confirming that Telemachus looked like Odysseus and therefore had to be his son. Explaining Athena’s need for

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