The Relationship Between Athena And Odysseus In The Odyssey

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The human-god relationships and their purpose in ancient civilizations often tell much about the beliefs and ideals of the culture as a whole. The connection between humans and their gods in both ancient Hebrew and ancient Greek culture are similar, but also vary in multiple ways. Both of these relationships can be seen between the humans and their gods in literature from the time period, specifically the relationship of Moses and God in Exodus, and between Athena and Odysseus and Telemachus in The Odyssey. The relationships and individual connections are defined differently in each story. The similarities and differences of both cultures is seen by comparing the human-god relationships and their purpose in both stories, leading to an overall …show more content…
Other than the fact that each human is chosen based on like-mindedness of their Gods, their overall purpose is similar as well; however, each god wants to help their civilization in their own way. Moses is viewed as a prophet and representative for God. God’s relationship purpose with Moses is to ensure that the ultimate goal of bringing the Israelites out of Egypt is completed. This is beneficial for both God and Moses, and the Hebrew civilization. This purpose indicates that God has trust Moses. In The Odyssey, Athena’s purpose is to help Odysseus restore order to Ithaca. This would improve their civilization as a whole, and return Odysseus back to his family and rightful place at home. For Telemachus, their relationship is somewhat different. Athena is the spark that causes Telemachus to strive to find his father and himself in the process. Athena helps Odysseus and his family come together and to restore order to their palace, whereas God in Exodus uses Moses to help the Israelites. Both gods use divine intervention to complete their purpose with the humans, but their ways of completing their goals are different. Each purpose is specific for their …show more content…
The cultures themselves can be compared and contrasted based on what is seen from each human-god relationship. The gods in both ancient Hebrew and ancient Greek culture provide laws for the humans to live by. These are highly based on community, which is one of the unifying themes in The Odyssey. The laws teach the civilians their version of what it means to be moral. In Exodus, God sets forth the Ten Commandments, a set of law-like guidelines dealing with ethics and morals. This explains Gods version of a moral person based on what should and should not be done. The community laws in The Odyssey are based primarily on xenia. Xenia is the idea of guest-friendship and hospitality, and is one of the most sacred laws for the Greek culture. Many examples of Xenia are within the Odyssey, especially as Telemachus visits Pylos and Sparta. Athena exhibits the trait of friendship in her relationship with both Odysseus and Telemachus, and those she visits along her journey. This relationship is a derivative of the emphasis of Xenia and morality in the Greek civilization. The laws set forth by the gods in each civilization demonstrate the similarities of the cultures in the way that the gods want to control the community and overall morality of the humans. Although the laws are somewhat different,

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