Study Guide

Artemis and Actaeon Tiresias and Athena

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Tiresias and Athena

We can't help but think of Artemis and Actaeon when we read about Tiresias and Athena. Tiresias was the son of the nymph Chariclo, who happened to be friends with the goddess Athena. One day, Tiresias encountered a naked Athena as she took a bath. The goddess was embarrassed, so she covered Tiresias' eyes which made him go blind. (Turns out, he's kind of a famous blind guy, too: read more about him in Shmoop's files.)

Unlike Artemis, Athena later feels pretty guilty for what she's done to Tiresias. To make up for her deed, Athena cleanses Tiresias' ears and gives him the ability to understand birds—and, as it goes with bird-whisperers, the ability to see the future.

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