Illustration of Odysseus tied to a ship's mast

The Odyssey

by Homer
Start Free Trial

Why is Athena an important female character?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Athena is an important female character in The Odyssey because she offers a substantial amount of guidance to Odysseus's son, Telemachus. Telemachus starts off as a young boy who does not like the suitors that are vying for his mother's hand, but he feels that he has no ability to...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Athena is an important female character in The Odyssey because she offers a substantial amount of guidance to Odysseus's son, Telemachus. Telemachus starts off as a young boy who does not like the suitors that are vying for his mother's hand, but he feels that he has no ability to control the situation. Athena disguises herself as Mentor and offers Telemachus guidance, allowing him to make decisions and to ultimately become much more sure of himself. Athena gives Telemachus the wisdom and guidance needed to forge alliances and begin the search for his father. This ultimately decides the fate of everyone involved, as the suitors are only vying for Penelope's hand because Odysseus is believed to be dead. It is fair to say that Athena determines the outcome of The Odyssey

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team