Equality In The Odyssey

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Throughout history, the equality of women to men has been regarded as a social taboo. It was a universal understanding that women were always subordinate to their dominant males. Pre Modern Greece expressed these views through their social expectations, hierarchical structures and general lack of acceptance. This ubiquitous truth for this society was challenged in Homer’s The Odyssey, with his strongly developed and diverse female cast. Each female character possesses a unique personality and faced internal as well as external struggles that rivals the complexity of the male characters. Despite the inequity that these females face, they overcome it by showing themselves to be strong in the face of adversity and work to be unmoved by even the…show more content…
In various ways, women either subtly or directly argue against double standards or mistreatments to which they are subjected. The gods are disgruntled over the idea of a goddess taking a mortal man for a husband but have countless times taken mortal women as lovers. Her outspoken nature express the idea that women were fed up with having to act as second-class citizens to the men of their world. They saw the unfairness positioned against them and demanded that it end. One particularly strong demonstration of this sentiment would be when Calypso was being directed to allow Odysseus to continue on his way home by Hermes and her response, “‘You unrivaled lords of jealousy- scandalized when goddesses sleep with mortals, openly, even when one has made the man her husband. So when Dawn with her rose-red fingers took Orion, you gods in your everlasting ease were horrified till chaste Artemis throned in gold attacked them…. So now at last, you gods, you train your spite on me for keeping a mortal man beside me. The man I saved…” (Fagles 156). Calypso was arguing the clear double-standards the gods placed on something as trivial as relationships represented to audiences the idea that she had begun to demand equality from the men of the world. By expressing this anger regarding the inequity placed upon all…show more content…
In each woman’s encounter with their personal challenge, this goal is expressed in a form specific to them. Audiences see this interest of reaching equal status conveyed through the work and intentions the women produce. The female characters present a side to themselves that, at times, switch the gender roles their society is accustomed to. At other points, women’s abilities to lead in times of distress or confusion establish themselves as the same types of leaders that society grows to associate with men. Finally, the female character’s voicing of society’s unjust contradictory standards for women furthers paints the idea of a movement towards equality. In the world of The Odyssey, women took a stand against the mistreatment they encountered from men and worked to establish themselves as individuals of the same status.Through the constant battling for equality, the women are faced with many trials and tribulations, all which form an individualistic odyssey for each

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