Gods and Goddesses in The Odyssey

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In The Odyssey gods and goddesses play a major role during Odysseus' journey. He had some gods on his side and others against him. Some were even on his side at one time, but did something to hurt him another time. No matter where he went a god or goddess was always watching over him. For good or for evil, Athena, Poseidon, and Zeus all played major roles in Odysseus' journey home to Ithaka.

Athena, the goddess of crafts, domestic arts, and war, helped Odysseus through many adventures on his journey. She watched over him constantly and Odysseus often found himself praying to Athena for help or comfort. It was Athena who helped him beat the suitors and gain back his home in Ithaka. She disguised him as a beggar so no one would know who he was when he returned home. This was so he could find out who was still truly loyal to him. As Odysseus was fighting the suitors, Athena watched over him and prevented the suitors from killing him. After he and Telemachus, his son, had slain all the suitors and Odysseus had been reunited with Penelope, Athena turned his old skin into younger, more beautiful skin. Athena was a major help to Odysseus throughout his journey.

Poseidon, god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses, made Odysseus' journey a long and hard one. Odysseus found himself on the Island of the Kyklopes. He was captured in the cave of a giant named Polyphemos. He had to poke Polyphemos' eye out to get out of his cave. As Odysseus was sailing away, he called to the giant and told him his real name. Polyphemos then prayed to his father, Poseidon. He asked his father for Odysseus' journey home to be very long and very difficult. He wanted Odysseus to return home without his men and under strange sail, only to return to difficult times on Ithaka. Throughout the adventures of Odysseus, Poseidon caused many storms and high winds on the sea. Many times the storms were so bad that Odysseus

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