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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The position of women in the societies of Genesis and the Odyssey grant them little power. Despite the pervasive gender hierarchy present in the ancient texts, Rebekah and Nausicaa wield their intelligence and wit to influence those around them. These two women utilize deception and indirect communication in order to alter the lives of prominent men as their means of exerting control within their patriarchal society. Due to their actions, these women become essential to the narratives of Genesis and the Odyssey, for Rebekah is integral to the perpetuation of God’s covenant through familial lineage and Nausicaa is fundamental to Odysseus’ nostos journey.
In Homer’s Poem, The Odyssey, Penelope is the exceptionally patient and clever spouse of the infamous hero, Odysseus, and the mother of Telemachus. One poignant factor of Penelope’s character is her patience and devotion which is displayed throughout the poem. With her husband absent for a great majority of her life for the later of twenty years and his location unknown, Penelope stays, patiently awaiting Odysseus’ return, all whilst preserving their estate and raising her son by herself. Throughout this time, she had many persistent suitors in pursuit of her, abusing her husband’s absence.
Penelope, his wife, is greatly affected; as many greedy suitors disrespect her and move into their home to try and win her hand in marriage. Throughout ‘The Odyssey’, the greed and folly of men play a huge part in increasing the difficulty and severity of Odysseus’s situations and ultimately change his fate and the directions of his journey. The greed and folly of men are largely represented by Penelope’s suitors. In the very first book of The Odyssey, the disgusting actions of the suitors were introduced to the readers.
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.
“The Odyssey,” written by Greek poet Homer is an epic tale depicting the brutally enduring quest home of the Greek hero, Odysseus. Within this heroic story, women play a very large and pivotal role in Odysseus’s trip home from the Trojan War. In his attempt to get back to his wife, Penelope, Odysseus’s progress is constantly hindered by the intervention of women who will do anything in order to either convince the heroic figure to stay with them or have him killed. The intentions of the women in the epic are all very different but one of the most prominent roles lies in the seductresses and the alluring women who will deeply influence Odysseus. Most importantly, Penelope plays a large role in portraying the importance of women’s roles in the story.
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 the epic poem, The Odyssey, by Homer, there are many female characters who play the role of a villain. Calypso, Scylla, Charybdis, and the sirens are among the women with the largest, negative impacts on Odysseus’ journey home. Though some women, such as Athena, Eurycleia, and Penelope, are loyal to Odysseus throughout the poem. With such a wide range of female characters, they all contribute different things throughout the book, whether the impact of their actions is negative or positive. Regardless of the outcomes, Homer has quite a modern view of female representation in his poem.
Women are looked at as inferior both mentally and physically to men. This is evident by the fact that women are given as sexual items, toys and trophies to men. Homer rarely empathizes the attractiveness of the heroic man. Beauty pertains to the goddesses and women. Homer infers that a woman’s importance lies in her looks while for men their importance lies in their heroism.
The Odyssey by Homer contains multiple moments where female characters are oppressed or fit into a patriarchy, but there are several moments where these character show signs of rebellion against this oppression. Applying a critical lense of feminism to these characters and relationships create complexities and conflicts within the novel that shine meaning on the world. The character Penelope offers many of these moments. Analyzing the actions, situation, and comparisons with other characters using a the feminist critical lense will show a more enriched version of Penelope and offer a deeper insight of the patriarchy, and how is affects the world.
In Ancient Greek Civilization, women were viewed as submissive. A man always controlled the women; that either being the Father or Husband. Women were forced to stay in the house and complete all household duties. Women were not even granted the right to attend assemblies, participate in politics, or even represent themselves in court. Having little to no overall power in your society can have a huge burden on Women but this can also fuel certain Women to strive to change the society they live in.
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 Greek epics, tragedies, and mythology women are portrayed in various ways. Women are mainly considered to be weak and less important than men, but there are some women who are shown to be strong and heroic, despite the reputation that was placed onto them in Ancient Greek civilizations. There were two particular women that were strong and took the roles of their husbands while the men left to fight in the Trojan War. These two women were Penelope, wife of Odysseus, and Clytemnestra, wife of Agamemnon. These two women were different in how they chose to rule while their husbands were at war and how they acted once they got back.
In the journal article “Rewriting The Odyssey in the Twenty-First Century”. The idea of Penelope taking control into her own hands, in a time when women did not stand up for themselves but rather were emotionally constricted is shown. Penelope’s demeanor is of a woman that does not let society rule what she can or cannot do, and because of this thinking she is able to have an advantage over other women and of men who are the ones in charge of any decision-making (Suzuki). Penelope is the second female character that is not a god that is able to maintain authority of her own in The Odyssey. This is ultimately Homer’s way of expressing his views towards the male societies of his time and their