Gender Roles In Homer's Odyssey

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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. The respectable male characters such as Odysseus treat women well, but mostly for their appearance and marriage potential. Near the beginning, after washing up on the island of the Pheaecians, he meets a girl and says, “Mistress: please: are you divine, or mortal? If one of those who dwell in the wide heaven, you are the most near to Artemis, I should say,” (8). To …show more content…

Penelope shows this when she tells her plan to Odysseus on page 27, “I said, that day: ‘Young men- my suitors, now my lord is dead, let me finish my weaving before I marry, or else my thread will have been spun in vain.’” She lies to the suitors and tells them that she must finish her weaving before she marries one of them, buying herself more time to wait for Odysseus. Again, Penelops shows great intelligence when she tests Odysseus to make sure it is him on page 31, “But here and now, what sign could be so clear as this of our own bed? No other man has laid eyes on it.” She references something they would only know to make sure it is actually her husband. This proves that she is smart. In the Odyssey, the main characters portray the ideal male and female roles in their society. Men are supposed to be strong and respectable like Odysseus, and women are expected to be loyal and strong like Penelope. Although Homer shows that women are valued for their beauty, he also makes a point that they also must be

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