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Word Count: 455
The Odyssey The Odyssey is the story of Odysseuss journey from Troy to Ithaka During his journey Odysseus is impeded by Poseidon and assisted by Athena The use of olive wood as a metaphor lies in the differences between Athena and her uncle Poseidon in Odysseuss journey back to Ithaka Before the first time olive wood is used in the Odyssey Homer shows what side the gods are on in book one Homer says all the gods had pitied Lord Odysseus all but Poseidon raging cold and rough against the brave king till he came ashore at last on his own land210 and in book five Homer says that Zeus went to his place among the gods assembled hearing Athena tell Odysseus woe For she being vexed that he was still sojourning in the sea chambers of Kalypos 262 Now that Homer has shown the differences between Poseidon and Athena when it is the matter of Odysseus he now shows what Zeus has intended for Odysseus Zeus tells his son Hermes Make it known to the softly-braided nymph that we whose will is not subject to error order Odysseus home let him depart But let him have no company gods or men only a raft that he must lash together 263 Homer shows that Zeus is neutral to Odysseus return unlike Athena and Poseidon Homers first mention of Olive wood is in book five when Kalypso is helping Odysseus prepare for his departure from Kalypsos island Homer says A brazen axehead first she had to give him two-bladed and agreeable to the palm with a smooth-fitting haft of olive wood268 The olive wood handle axe is the tool used to assist Odysseus in building the raft which allows him to leave Kalypsos island just as Athena is the tool used in persuading Zeus to allow Odysseus to leave the island
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