Athena in the Odyssey vs. Virgil in the Inferno Essay

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Athena in the Odyssey VS. Virgil in the Inferno

Two of the greatest works ever written, The Odyssey by Homer and The Inferno by Dante, are detailed, multi-sectioned poems about the journey’s of two men. In each story, the main character is given some sort of guidance by another character in order to aid them in their travels. In The Odyssey, Athena is portrayed as the protector to Odysseus on his journey back home from the Trojan War to his family in Ithaca. In The Inferno, Virgil is requested to lead Dante through the depths of Hell in order to save his soul. Many similarities can be seen between the two characters as they both served as advice givers, protectors, and guides for the main character. While the two guides seem very
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In Dante’s The Inferno, Virgil serves as a guide for Dante through the depths of Hell. Virgil is widely considered an allegory for human reason. Reason is needed in a Christian worldview in order to control emotion and desire from taking control allowing for acts of sin. Reason is God’s gift to mankind, a way of staying on the right path and avoiding the dark side of life, if it is used properly. Virgil was requested to help a lost Dante save his soul by Dante’s departed love, Beatrice, who represents God’s grace. Virgil leads Dante through Hell in order for him to learn the descriptions of sins and their consequences. Virgil is with Dante through out his entire journey, unlike Athena who only appears to Odysseus in The Odyssey every once in a while. One example of how Virgil is always there to lead Dante is when Dante faints before entering the First Circle of Hell. Dante faints at the shine of a bright light and awakens already in the next circle. “With rested eyes, I stood/ and looked about me, then fixed my gaze/ to make out where I was./ I found myself upon the brink/ of an abyss of suffering/ filled with the roar of endless woe.” (Inf. 4. 4-9). This type of situation occurs many times throughout the poem, as Dante proves many times too weak to carry on, and Virgil takes care of him, protects him, and moves them along on their journey. Another situation is when Dante and Virgil arrive at the