The two stories analyzed in this essay are among the most popular in human culture. They belong to different historical contexts and periods but have a universal value across different cultures and have been read and studied by numerous generations of people. Homer’s Odyssey is an epic poem attributed to Homer, a renowned Ancient Greek poet. The story of the poem protagonists’ homecoming includes a variety of characters and situations, with ordinary people, heroes and powerful deities interacting and communicating in the way that seemed natural to the people of the ancient world. The Bible, either in the Hebrew or other version, has a Book of Job as its part acknowledged by both Judaism and Christianity as a canonical text. This text represents a different kind of relations of God and man and emphasize the importance of human faith and unconditional trust in God’s wisdom.
The relationship between Odysseus and Athena as contrasted to relations of Job and God show the major difference between the God of Hebrew monotheistic religion and Greek deities; the former is an omniscient and omnipotent entity directing people’s lives and behavior while deities resemble humans in their behavior.The Greek goddess Athene was revered as the Goddess of Wisdom and the patroness of the city of Athens known for its democratic values, artistic and philosophical achievements almost unmatched in the ancient world. Many other Greek poleis were also under her protection (Deacy 5). Athena, the daughter of Zeus, was of special importance in the pantheon of various Greek deities. She often demonstrated her wisdom by taking part in human actions, which makes it easier to explore hew wisdom and character. One of Athena’s most important examples of assisting people was her involvement with Odysseus’ homecoming, which could not have been a success without Athena’s assistance.
At the beginning of the narration, Athena appeals to her father and asks him to agree to help Odysseus: “Let’s all put our heads together and find a way/To bring Odysseus home” (Homer, 1, 83-84). Her request is supported by emphasizing Odysseus’ reverence of gods, which can be seen as a kind of bonds existing between humans and these powerful entities: “No other mortal has a mind like his, or offers/Sacrifice like him to the deathless gods in heaven” (Homer, 1, 71-72). Being Zeus’ favorite child, Athena gets her father’s consent, as there is also a strong connection between the female goddess and her father. Another feature of Odysseus’ character noticed and praised by Athena makes this man her favorite; this is his mind, which is unlike those of other mortals. Thus, the man’s mind can be seen as similar to gods’ minds and wisdom and Athena seems to appreciate it more than the man’s appearance or other good qualities. What kind of mind it is and how Athena is going to exercise her wisdom is seen from various episodes of the epic poem, which show the practical, pragmatic aspects of both her and Odysseus’ minds and their …