Athena's Reviews > The Odyssey

The Odyssey by Homer
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Jul 28, 2011

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The Odyssey is a great book, and I wanted to really like it but some of the passages were repetitious and monotonous. The immortals are very tempermental and selfish, and seemed quick to judge and discipline. I was surprised that Athene helped Oddysseus and his family without a tragedy occurring, as she's not known to be a nice goddess. I liked all the quaint feasts in the book when someone was welcomed into anothers home; oxen, sheep, and cows, as well as wine, were offered as sacrifices to the gods constantly. The main character Oddysseus has been away from home for twenty years, leaving behind his wife Penelope, and his son Telemachus to go with his men to fight the war in Troy. He needs all the help from the gods to get him back. As he and his men are homeward bound to Ithaca the disasters and miracles that befall them are very entertaining. Polyphemus,The giant cyclops son of Poseidon, is blinded by Oddysseus for holding his men captive and eating them. The "noman" trick was brilliant and comedic. Finally, Oddysseus is transformed into a beggar by the goddess Athene to find that his wife is being courted by over fifty suitors, all of them eating him out of house and home, and some of whom want his son dead. Oddysseus manages to slaughter the suitors with help from his friends, and reclaims his home and family, but it's everything in between that is interesting; the stories of Circe and Calypso, and the trip to Hades, and even the sea monsters Scyla and Charybdis are fascinating tales.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Jazzy This is the exact review I would have gave this book.

Athena Thank you!

message 3: by Yakub (new) - added it

Yakub Medici What do you mean, "Athena isn't a nice goddess?" Most greek mythology is pieced together from various writings, that often came after Homer. Besides, Athena is a character. She isn't real, so you can't exactly complain that he is being wrongly depicted.

Also, the repetition is because these epics were memorized and recited orally rather than written down.

Athena Athene "isn't known to be a nice goddess" means that, as with all the other gods and goddesses, she was described as spiteful and vengeful, and her wrath, as the rest of them, was cruel. And that is according to many other stories aside from "The Odyssey".
Regarding your comment, "Athena is a character. She is not real" I'm more than well aware. Again, I was commenting on, and not "complaining", about how she was depicted in the book. This is a book review after all.

message 5: by Caterina (new)

Caterina Scannapieco What you said about Athena isn't very correct, though... It's true that almost all Gods and Goddesses are sometimes spiteful and vengeful (not always and not only... they're simple exactly as humans are!), but Athena in particular is the Goddess of "metis", so a very clever and sensible Goddess. Moreover, Gods and Goddesses OFTEN help the mortals "without a tragedy occurring", because they like/love/respect a hero, a family or a city that greatly worshipped them (you can see many examples of this in the Iliad : )

I hope my comment helped you understanding a bit more how the world of Greek mythology works. Even if I would require much more time and space to deal with it!

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