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The Odyssey Athene Quotes


Quote 4

(Athene:) 'Hold back, men of Ithaka, from the wearisome fighting, so that most soon, and without blood, you can settle everything.' (24.531-532)

Oh, sure. Now that Athene's got what she wants, she's ready to stop fighting. When her precious Odysseus is the one being threatened, she suggests that maybe they should stop taking revenge on each other and start thinking about new ways to find justice.


Quote 5

[Athene] caught up a powerful spear, edged with sharp bronze, heavy, huge, thick, wherewith she beats down the battalions of fighting men, against whom she of the mighty father is angered, and descended in a flash of speed from the peaks of Olympos, and lighted in the land of Ithaka, at the doors of Odysseus at the threshold of the court, and in her hand was the bronze spear. She was disguised as a friend, leader of the Taphians, Mentes. (1.99-105)

We get why Odysseus needs to disguise himself, but Athene is a goddess—and a powerful one. Why does she have to show up at court in disguise, when she could easily kick out all the suitors single-handedly?


Quote 6

So he spoke in prayer, and from nearby Athene came to him likening herself to Mentor in voice and appearance. Now she spoke aloud to him and addressed him in winged words: ‘Telemachos, you are to be no thoughtless man, no coward, if truly the strong force of your father is instilled in you; such a man he was for accomplishing word and action.’ (2.267-272)

Athene uses deception, but for the purpose of speaking the truth.