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The Odyssey

Homer
Summary

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

7) Why does Athena help Odysseus so much?

Athena helps Odysseus for several reasons. Odysseus is Poseidon’s enemy, having blinded Poseidon’s Cyclops son, Polyphemus, and Athena and Poseidon share a mutual grudge stemming from when they both vied to become the patron saint of Athens. Further, Athena sided with the Greeks during the Trojan War, and Odysseus is a Greek hero. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, Athena has genuine respect and affection for Odysseus. For instance, in her first speech of the poem, she states that her “heart breaks for Odysseus,” and later Nestor recalls how much she “lavished care on brave Odysseus, years ago in the land of Troy.”