Importance Of Women In Homer's The Odyssey

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Importance of Women in The Odyssey In ancient Greece, women are not considered as great as men and cannot qualify as a hero. They usually rely on men and the heroes for help. Women are little helpers, such as Ariadne, or trouble makers such as Medea. They are not considered important because of the men by their side: Theseus and Jason in this case. But some women can be noted as great as or even greater than some male heroes. Take Atlanta for example. She proved faster than just about any man in a foot race. She does not want to get married so she is able to control her fate instead of just letting her father pick. Similarly, in The Odyssey Penelope does not want to marry any of her suitors because of her loyalty to Odysseus. She stalls her…show more content…
This can result in men fighting over women showing the power women can have on men. Aphrodite has everlasting beauty which Ares cannot resist. Although Hephaestus is her husband, “Ares had showered [Aphrodite] with gifts and showered Hephaestus’ marriage bed with shame” (8.304-305). Hephaestus, angered by this, sets up a trap to catch them in bed together. Ares and Hephaestus fight over Aphrodite because of her glamor and beauty. This can also be seen among mortals. Paris wants Helen as his wife but she already married Agamemnon. However, this does not stop him from taking her, and “all [the] Achaeans fought at Troy, launching [their] headlong battles just for [Helen’s] sake” (4.160-162). The Trojan War involves several men, including Odysseus, who risks their lives just for one woman. Penelope very beautiful as well, attracts several suitors who wish to marry her, even though Odysseus still lives. When Odysseus reveals himself to the suitors, he says “you dogs/ wooed my wife behind my back while I was still alive!” and he slaughters them all for trying to take his wife (22.36, 38-39). Although not as massive as The Trojan War, Penelope causes a great deal of blood shed by attracting the hearts of so many men. Women’s power to seduce men signifies their importance and superiority over men. Contrary to popular belief at the time, women play highly significant roles towards heroes and the male figures in The Odyssey. They give them aid, try to trick them, or seduce them with their irresistible looks. The women may not play the hero or partake in the main conflict, but they remain in the background, influencing the men in many ways. There are many other roles that women play, but these are the most
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