Anti-Feminism And Women In Homer's The Odyssey

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Women in most classical literature have an extremely limited amount of rights compared to men. They are under the control and protection of either their father, husband, or male relative for their entire life. Women are not considered as “important” as men. In the novel’s we have read throughout this semester, it is obvious that men are known to have a higher knowledge than women. For many generations, societes created different roles, codes of morality, and even different feelings and thoughts about men and women and their power compared to each other. Classical literature used the biological distinction of sex to enforce the social distinction of gender. Women make sacrifices and put their lives on the line to be sure they are safe. In these…show more content…
A character by the name of Penelope goes through a phase of feeling alone. Her husband, Odysseus, the main character and the king of Ithaca, definitely impacts her life in both positive and negative ways. They show deep love and compassion for each other, as well as respect towards their marriage. Although they are separated for twenty years, they remain focused on reuniting as soon as Odysseus makes it back on his voyage home. Many of the suitors try to take over Penelope’s hear, but she uses her wits to avoid marrying any of the men and shows her loyalty towards Odysseus that their love is real. Not only do the suitors try to take advantage of Penelope’s heart, but they want to take her powers away. Odysseus makes it clear that he wants Penelope to take over Ithaca until he returns, but the suitors start using her and her slaves as if they had no life. They believe that because Penelope is a woman, tricking her would be quite simple, but it was hard then they imagined. She knew right away that all the suitors wanted was her strength. This implies that the men think she is incapable of leading Ithaca and her people. In the beginning of Book One in The Odyssey, Homer makes it clear that women are expected to fulfill their jobs. When Penelope complains about the music being played, Telemachus demands, “So mother, go back to your quarters. Tend to your own tasks the distaff and the loom, and keep…show more content…
Homer does not even give the maids specific names. The suitors believe that the women have information they can benefit from so, they use the maids, sleep with them, and hope that they can accomplish getting more power and knowledge. The suitors want all the profit of power. They think that dangerous women should be kept away from the Greek household. Odysseus expresses to his son, Telemachus, “I’d rather die, cut down in my own house than have to look on at their outrage day by day. Guests treated to blows, men dragging the serving-women through the noble house, exploiting them all, no shame, and the gushing wine swilled, the food squandered--gorging’s sake-- and the courting game goes on, no end in sight!” (Homer 16.118-124). This proves that Odysseus respects women and does not believe that they are less than men. These lines show that he considers the way the suitors are treating the women is foul and uncalled

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