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Double Standards In Homer's The Odyssey

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Double standards exist everywhere you go. In society, women and men are held to different standards. Whether it comes to strength, leadership, or appearance, they affect everything and everyone. These contrasting principles also apply to sexual fidelity. Often, men are praised and looked up to to having many sexual relationships. 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. Greek epic heros are figures that are meant to represent the ultimate mortal the ideals and common values in Greek culture,…show more content…
Even though he was often unfaithful, most of the Greek gods and goddesses still wanted to help Odysseus return to Ithaca . “Athena began, recalling Odysseus to their thoughts,...Think: not one of the people whom he ruled remembers Odysseus now, that godlike man,” (The Odyssey, Book 5, pg 314,lines 5 and 12-13.) Athena was the goddess who advocated for Odysseus and the other divine beings agreed with her. It is important to note that Athena describes him as “godlike,” but she never mentions his lack of sexual fidelity. This could be due to that fact that gods and goddesses are also shown to have two sets of standards for sexual fidelity. When Calypso was told to release Odysseus she mentioned these unfair standards, “Hard-hearted you are, you gods! You unrivaled lords of jealousy-scandalized when goddesses sleep with mortals.” (The Odyssey, Book 5, pg 317, lines 130-133) Calypso 's complaint shows that even divine beings in Greek culture have different standards for women and men. The Greek gods and goddesses are the ultimate representation how Greek culture. Since the gods and goddesses did not mention Odysseus’ lack of sexual fidelity, this shows that the values for men in Greek culture were not infringed upon. Sexual fidelity and how it is dealt with by the story’s most important characters in The Odyssey show the morals of Greek
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