Gods and Goddesses of Greek Mythology

Essay by Pat WilsonUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 1996

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The gods and goddesses that the Greek people believe in make up the Greek mythology studied today. These divine characters represent a family living on Mount Olympus who intervene frequently in the lives of the human characters in Greek plays. They are omnipresent, for they are always observing mans actions and working through human nature. The gods are a higher power, and provide explanations for otherwise unexplainable events. The gods help humans in trouble and give them guidance about the future. The Olympians influence men on earth both psychologically and physically. In Homer's epic poem, The Iliad, the intervention of such divine powers as Athena, Apollo, and Zeus play significant roles in the lives of the characters and the events of the Greek-Trojan War.

Athena plays a very influential role in the Greek-Trojan War. She is the most constant divine supporter of the Greeks and divine enemy of the Trojans.

Athena's function is to be a goddess of pro-Greek warfare. She came to the aid of the Greeks many times throughout the war. For instance, Athena came down from the sky to stop Achilleus from attacking Agamemnon (Willcock). Andre Michalopoulous confirms this action by quoting what Athena says to Achilles :

I came from heaven to stay thine anger, if perchance though wilt

hearken to me, being sent forth of the white-armed goddess Hera, that

loveth you twain alike and careth for you. Go to now, cense from strife,

and let not thine hand draw the sword.(65)

Achilles listens to Athena's request, and therefore he returns his sword to its sheath, and withdraws from battle. Athena also assists Achilles in his battle with Hektor. Malcolm Willcock quotes, "After deceiving Hektor into fighting Achilles,she comes to his aid by returning his sword to him" (244). This intervention is the...