Illustration of Odysseus tied to a ship's mast

The Odyssey

by Homer

Start Free Trial

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 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

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial