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In these epics several female characters had a profound effect on the plot They wielded their influence through typically feminine skills and attributes seduction supernatural powers intelligence and beauty Some of the women of The Odyssey and The Iliad influenced the actions of men playing key roles in the epics such as Calypso the Sirens Helen or Circe all of these women were responsible for the actions of the men In The Iliad Helen and Athena are two characters who display the influential power female sexuality has in relation to the mortal malethey are in control LeVan Helens physical beauty was her source of influence as She plays out her role or destiny as a symbol of the beauty that men fight for Bespaloff 121 Helen was Menelaus beautiful wife and when Paris kidnapped her because he wanted her to be his wife Menelaus had to go to battle against Troy to defend his honor and retake Helen as his wife Thus if Helen had not possessed beauty then Paris would not have wanted her and the Trojan War would not have occurred Pallas Athena also wields an influential power through her intelligence and her supernatural power as a goddess She directs the actions of men such as Achilles by making herself invisible to all others except Achilles and then plucking his hair and warning him not to strike Agamemnon Achilles does not strike Agamemnon and a grand mistake is avoided Athena also influences the actions of Achilles by handing him a spear during the final battle against Hector By handing Achilles the spear Achilles knows that he is to kill him If Athena had not interfered Achilles would not have delivered his fatal attack Odysseus is successful because he has the help of Athene Wright 67 Clearly Athena is responsible for the actions of Odysseus and any other man whom she helps In The Odyssey the females who direct
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