In Homer's The Odyssey, what two things did Athena do to begin enacting her plan to bring Odysseus home?

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Unfortunately, you asked more than one question so I had to edit your post down to one. In The Odyssey by Homer, Athena tries to convince her father, Zeus, to let Odysseus come home after nearly a decade of wandering. She reminds Zeus that Odysseus has been a prisoner there for seven years and has been offering burnt sacrifices consistently. She says,

Are you, Olympus' lord, not moved by this? Was not Odysseus your favorite when, on the spacious plain of Troy, beside the Argive ships, he sacrificed for you? What turned your fondness into malice, Zeus?

Her plea works, and Athena leaves to do two things as part of her plan to bring Odysseus home. 

Both parts of her plan involve Telemachus. First, she promises to inspire Telemachus to hold an assembly in which he addresses the suitors, calling them out for their boorish behavior. Second, Athena intends to convince Telemachus to go on a journey to Sparta and Pylos to seek news of his father, Odysseus. 

To implement this plan, she disguises herself as Mentes, and in this guise she is able to execute her plan. By the time she leaves the young man, he is prepared to do both things she wanted him to do as part of her master plan.