In the Odyssey, Women are not the main character of the story but give the book depth and are great supporting characters throughout. They play many pivotal roles that help Odysseus fulfill his prophecy. The women in the Odyssey are agents of change in a complex manner that gives the story action and depth. Throughout this book, the female charter use deception and this trait makes the women more complex. The women in this story never have the role of being the main character of the story.
Margret Atwood’s The Penelopaid is a response to the issues unaddressed within The Odyssey. Complications regarding class and gender divisions is explored through techniques such as irony. Odysseus’ glorification within The Odyssey is challenged as Atwood provides dialogue to female characters such as the maids. The traditional use of comedia and tragedy is utilized to overshadow the seriousness of the court case. The effectiveness of Deus ex Machina is challenged due to Atwood’s utilization of the technique.
Women in The Odyssey Gender roles, specifically of women, were a little different back in 700 B.C. They played more of a typical role, expected to get married and have kids at a young age. They were expected to take care of the house and children, while their husbands were out fighting wars. However, while women in The Odyssey were greatly valued for their beauty, Homer reveals that they also had to be intelligent to be successful in their lives.
In a distinctive manner, the perspective Attwood presents in the second passage focuses on the Judge in Odeysseus’ trial. When Odeysseus has finally arrived in the underworld and a trial is being held to either dismiss his sins or force him to atone, Attwood highlights how the Judge “chuckles” at the suggestion that the maids were being “raped without permission.” By doing this, Attwood highlights to her readers that the maids’ traumatic experiences are dismissed. This is further depicted through the Attorney for the Defence’s claim that the maids were raped “without permission of their master.” Through this, Attwood emphasises how the maids in Ancient Greek times were perceived as merely objects, which generally isn’t that unusual as it occurs often.
Women have been denied their ability to work honestly and have been forced into many stereotypes, where the only power they have is the power of seduction. Which In Homer’s description of the Sirens’ song, Odysseus reacts with an arrogance, boasting the fact he can withstand the siren’s seduction while his crew follows his lead. His voice is what one would believe to be heroic as he gloats about how he survived his brush of death but this self-congratulating manner irritates Margaret Atwood to write the “Siren’s Song.”
#MeToo: Women as Portrayed by Virgil and Ovid To many students in the 21st Century, classic literature can be seen as dry, required readings that have no impact on their lives whatsoever. Current events seem to be much more interesting and immediate, but the issues being brought up today aren’t as new as one might think. The feminist movement has gained an enormous following in the last few years, fighting for equality and respect for all genders. Social media has united that movement and allows people to share their stories, especially with the recently trending hashtag #MeToo.
On the other hand, women are shamed for having the same relationships. These double standards are portrayed in literature as well. In Homer’s The Odyssey, we see these double standards applied to its’ story and characters. It was especially applied to Odysseus, the main Greek hero in this epic.
Women are weak, helpless, and have no real purpose other than to serve men and take care of children. . . or so they were perceived in history. In the Odyssey, one can see that Homer’s portrayal of women challenges the depiction of women during that time period. Throughout the book, many women intervened in Odysseus’ journey home to Ithaca, for better or for worse. One will see Penelope, Athena, Circe, and other women impact Odysseus’ expedition home.
In many societies today, individuals are led to believe that the concept of women possessing their own strength or independence is abnormal. As a result, women experience the world in a constrained way in comparison to men, even if they are in higher classes of society. However, these extensive aspects of females are contradicted in some ancient Greek literature. In the epic poem, The Odyssey, Homer portrays women as a vital and powerful force through the characters Penelope and Circe, who counter the normality of misogyny in Homer’s time. Penelope’s character displays how some women are able to exceed society’s standards and show strength and cleverness when it is necessary.
I decided to do a poem on the odyssey, because I saw it as the most effective and efficient way to portray a message and or emotion about the odyssey and Odysseus’s feelings toward Penelope. I chose the topic of their relationship, after an argument in our classroom that said in the relationship Odysseus did not suffer and Penelope was the only one who did. Outraged by this conversation I created a poem that describes Odysseus’s love for Penelope and his desires and apologies for their relationship. My poem paints a picture of what Odysseus felt through his journey and his desire to be back with Penelope and for both of them to lead a happy and joyous life together. Inside my poem I made several references to the Odyssey and I followed an
In spite of the fact that Homer’s Odyssey is an epic story of a man’s gallant journey, women play a huge part throughout. Their unique yet controversial personalities, intentions, and relationships are vital to the development of this epic and adventurous journey of Odysseus. The poem by Homer was written at a time when women had an inferior position in society, yet that didn’t stop them from being any less influential. All of the women throughout the Odyssey possess different qualities, but all of them help to define the role of the ideal woman.
In “Women’s Space and Wingless Words in The Odyssey” Judith Fletcher recognizes a hidden trope in The Odyssey in which men with power, such as Odysseus, tell women to leave when important discussions are about to ensue (78). One such instance is in chapter 18 when Odysseus, who is disguised as a beggar, rebukes a group of women for being in what is seen as a ‘man's space’ saying, “You maids of Odysseus... / go to the chambers of your revered queen, / turn your distaffs beside her, be pleasing to her / as you sit in the chamber, or card the wool with your hands.” (quoted in Fletcher 81). We see how Odysseus views women as a commodity that can be sent off to another room to work submissively.
A mythological story can express a valuable message to its readers, advising them to choose a certain path when making decisions and to stray away from what can harm them. It can also give an artist, whether it is a painter or a poet, the inspiration to express their intake of what was given to them. The expression can show support of a character’s decision, show sadness towards a character’s place in the myth, or relate the myth to a real-life occurrence. When poet Eavan Boland was reading Book 1 of Ovid’s Metamorphosis, she wanted to express a different meaning of the story of Daphne by writing “Daphne with her Thighs in Bark”. She did this by using a feminist approach while looking back at Daphne’s fate.
The Feminist Theory Throughout Greek mythology and literature, women are downcast as second class citizens, and more often than not, this view forces women to conform to their traditional gender roles. However, when these women acknowledge and begin to resist the patriarchy, they are able to become strong individuals. Through the plays Medea and The Bacchae by Euripides, and Oedipus and Antigone by Sophocles, this theme presents itself through women who found themselves resisting what society expected of them. Each play demonstrates the different ways in which they stood firm in what they believed even with the odds against them. In the end, it didn’t always work out for these women, but they made their voices heard, and stood their ground