How are the mythology and the religious beliefs of ancient Greece shown in Homer's epic, the Odyssey?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many mythic stories and religious beliefs of the ancient Greeks appear in the Odyssey by Homer. First, it should be noted that the gods who appear in Homer are part of the archaic pantheon of Homer's own period and do not represent the deities that seem to have been worshipped in the Mycenaean period (who, though similar to the archaic ones have some distinct names, aspects and rituals). Many of the Olympic pantheon are essential to the plot of the Odyssey. The wrath of Poseidon is a major obstacle to Odysseus' attempts to reach home. Athena, in her own persona, or disguised as Mentor is a patron to Odysseus. Zeus adjudicates conflicts between other gods over the fate of Odysseus.