Athena in the Odyssey vs. Virgil in the Inferno
Athena in the Odyssey vs. Virgil in the Inferno

Athena in the Odyssey vs. Virgil in the Inferno

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Two of the greatest plants of all time written. The Odyssey by Homer and The Inferno by Dante. are elaborate. multi-sectioned verse forms about the journey’s of two work forces. In each narrative. the chief character is given some kind of counsel by another character in order to help them in their travels. In The Odyssey. Athena is portrayed as the defender to Odysseus on his journey back place from the Trojan War to his household in Ithaca. In The Inferno. Virgil is requested to take Dante through the deepnesss of Hell in order to salvage his psyche. Many similarities can be seen between the two characters as they both served as advice givers. defenders. and ushers for the chief character. While the two ushers seem really likewise in the way’s they help. it turns out that many differences can be observed between their ways. Athena and Virgil can both be perceived as bodyguards in the chief characters’ journey. but they both are taking their students towards different terminations and these terminations can be representative of a much larger intent that describes the two authors’ positions on life at the clip each verse form was written.

In Greek mythology. Athena is regarded as the goddess of Wisdom. She uses her wisdom to help Odysseus on his journey back place to his household. through assorted tests and trials. Athena’s counsel can be seen when Odysseus is eventually being allowed to go forth Calypso’s island. which outraged Poseidon. Poseidon sends a great moving ridge to bust up Odysseus


s ship and perchance submerge him in the huge ocean but alternatively Athena helps him survive. “But Zeus’s girl Athena countered him at one time. The remainder of the air currents she stopped right in their paths commanding them all to hush now travel to kip. All but the rambunctious North-she whipped him up/ and the goddess beat the surfs level before Odysseus beloved to Zeus. so he could make the Phaeacians. mingle with work forces who love their long oars/ and get away his decease at last. ” ( Ody. 5. 421-427 ) .

Another illustration of Athena protecting Odysseus is during the great conflict in the hall when Odysseus eventually confronts his wife’s suers. Athena appears to Odysseus in the signifier of Mentor and attempts to actuate Odysseus to kill all the suers off with menaces and accusals. She even commands the suers to through their lances at Odysseus all at one time. “At his bid concentrating their shootings. all six hurled as one but Athena sent to whole salvo broad of the mark…” ( Ody. 22. 267-269 ) . Odysseus sees that all of his work forces are untouched by the suitor’s lances. and this action propels him to take charge and take an onslaught on the suers.

In each clip Athena ushers or protects Odysseus. it’s in order to salvage his life. She urgently wants Odysseus to acquire place because Odysseus is a war hero and a King. really much deserving of a safe return place. Athena thinks really extremely of Odysseus because he is such a great warrior and she feels he exemplifie

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the virtuousness of excellence. It’s easy to see how the ideals of society on life and decease in Homer’s seventh Century BC times are portrayed through Athena’s aid. The people of this clip were most concerned on how you lived your life during the clip you had. For them, there was no glorious hereafter. so there was no demand to seek and salvage your psyche to harvest the award of a great clip after decease. Homer uses Athena as Odysseus’s usher to acquire back place and populate out the remainder of his life the manner he pleases. He’s spent his clip as a warrior and won his most of import conflicts before the beginning of the verse form. so now he deserves to populate out the remainder of his life in peace with those he loves the most. Once he arrives place and battles off his wife’s suers ( with the aid of Athena of class ) he will eventually be free in a sense to bask his life.

In Dante’s The Inferno. Virgil serves as an usher for Dante through the deepness of Hell. Virgil is widely considered a fable for human ground. Reason is needed in a Christian worldview in order to command emotion and desire from taking control letting for Acts of the Apostless of wickedness. The reason is God’s gift to mankind. a manner of remaining on the right way and avoiding the dark side of life. if it is used decently. Virgil was requested to assist a lost Dante salvage his psyche by Dante’s departed love. Beatrice. who represents God’s grace. Virgil leads Dante through Hell in order for him to larn the descriptions of wickedness and their effects. Virgil is with Dante through out his full journey. unlike Athena who merely appears to Odysseus in The Odyssey every one time in a piece. One illustration of how Virgil is ever at that place to take Dante is when Dante swoons before come ining the First Circle of Hell. Dante swoons at the radiance of a bright visible radiation and awakens already in the following circle.

“With rested eyes. I stood/ and looked about me. so fixed my gaze to do out where I was. I found myself upon the brink/ of an abysm of suffering/ filled with the boom of eternal suffering. ” ( Inf. 4. 4-9 ) . This type of state of affairs occurs many times throughout the verse form. as Dante proves many times excessively weak to transport on. and Virgil takes the attention of him. protects him. and moves them along on their journey. Another state of affairs is when Dante and Virgil arrive at the center of Circle 9 of Hell. They come to the great organic structure of Lucifer. and Virgil throws Dante on his dorsum to go on their upward ascent out of Hell. “At his petition, I clasped him round the cervix. / When the wings had opened broad enough/ he chose the proper clip and place/ and took a handhold on those haired wings. / Then from hank to hank he clambered down between the midst fur

and the crusty ice. ” ( Inf. 34. 70-75 ) .

While Virgil leads Dante physically in many ways. he besides serves as a voice of ground and leads through his words. An illustration of this is back as they are come ining the First Circle. Dante says. “My maestro ( Virgil ) began: ‘You do non inquire about/ the psyche you see? I want you to cognize. / before you venture further. ‘they did non transgress. Though they have merit. / that is non-plenty. for they were unbaptized. / denied the gateway to the religion that you profess. / ‘And if they lived before the Christians lived. / they did non idolize God aright. / And among these, I am one. ” ( Inf. 4. 31-39 ) . In this state of affairs. Virgil non merely instructs Dante on what he needs to make. but besides revealing a little more information approximately himself every bit good.

Although Virgil seems to steer Dante in about the exact same manner Athena guides Odysseus. Virgil is working towards an altogether different intent. In Dante’s fourteenth-century AD Christian society. it was imperative to guarantee that you lived a good life on Earth and repented for all your wickedness so that you would be in God’s presence in the after-life. Dante uses Virgil as a manner for his audience to see that the most of import thing is to salvage one’s psyche. even if a small counsel is required to make so.

Dante needed to go through the deepness of Hell to be able to wake up and recognize how ground should command emotions and desires so that life can be lived in God’s name letting for a brilliant hereafter. By demoing Dante the different circles of Hell. Dante learns the nature of wickedness and it’s effects. Virgil teaches Dante the most of import lesson; when the ground is non in control. it is more likely to perpetrate rough wickedness worthy of hereafter in Hell and non in God’s good grace. Virgil tips Dante toward the visible radiation of God one time once more. salvaging him from his impending day of reckoning. had he non been able to salvage his rolling psyche.

Athena and Virgil are considered to be a signifier of counsel to their poem’s chief characters. In Homer’s The Odyssey. Athena helps to guarantee Odysseus’s safe return place. but besides allows him to populate out the remainder of his fantastic life on Earth by salvaging him from assorted dangers including Poseidon and his wife’s suers. In Dante’s The Inferno. Virgil serves as Dante’s bodyguard through the circles of Hell. but besides pilots Dante back into God’s grace by salvaging his psyche. Each can be seen as non merely a physical chaperon but besides a religious 1 that illustrates society’s point of position on life or hereafter at the clip each verse form was written.

Plants Cited

  1. Alighieri.
  2. Dante.
  3. Inferno.
  4. Trans.
  5. Robert Hollander and Jean Hollander.
  6. New York: Anchor. 2002.
  7. Homer.
  8. The Odyssey.
  9. Trans.
  10. Robert Fagles.
  11. New York: Penguin. 1997.