Odyssey Character Analysis

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Female Characters in The Odyssey
Many of the female characters demonstrate heroic qualities in Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. Penelope’s unwavering hope and ability to avert the suitors’ incessant proposals makes her an overlooked hero. Regardless of her status as a temptress, Circe selflessly directs Odysseus on his journey. Athena is the most heroic female character in spite of her constant interference with the lives of Telemachus and Odysseus. In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, Penelope, Circe, and Athena are female characters that prove heroic.
The female character Penelope displays cunning, strength, and perseverance throughout The Odyssey. For instance, Penelope tricks her suitors into believing that Odysseus instructed her, “once
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In particular, Homer establishes Circe as a temptress by describing the way Odysseus’ crew interacted with Circe as “she opened her gleaming doors at once and stepped forth, / inviting us all in and in we went, all innocence” (10.282-83). Circe’s powerful and manipulative personality caused the crew to be turned into pigs, however her personality adds to her heroism. Moreover, throughout The Odyssey, Circe is portrayed as the “nymph with lovely braids” (10.241); she is able to hold Odysseus as her lover for a year on her isolated island, which provided no easy escape. Nevertheless, Circe lessens Odysseus’ troubles by setting “a course and chart each seamark, / so neither on sea nor land will some new trap / ensnare you in trouble, make you suffer more” (12.28-30). By lessening Odysseus’ troubles, Circe proves her heroism and shows her generosity. As a final point, Circe advises Odysseus to “soften some beeswax / and stop your shipmates’ ears [...] have them tie you hand and foot in the swift ship” (12.53-56). Circe gives Odysseus advice about Scylla and Charybdis by explaining the best route when it is time for Odysseus to depart. Circe is a powerful and manipulative female character but proves her heroism by helping…show more content…
For example, when Telemachus is too shy to approach King Nestor to ask for news of his father, Athena reassures him that “some of the words you’ll find within yourself, / the rest some power will inspire you to say” (3.29-30). Athena’s guidance is what gives Telemachus courage otherwise he would never hear the stories of his father at Troy. Next, when Odysseus has left Calypso’s island, he starts experiencing the wrath of Poseidon, so Athena “countered him at once / [...], so he could reach the Phaeacians, [...] and escape his death at last” (5.421-28). Athena’s constant interference does possibly alter the natural course of events that could have unfolded for Odysseus, but she does save him on many occasions, justifying her interference and proving herself heroic. Lastly, when Telemachus and Odysseus are fabricating their plan against the suitors Odysseus says, “Athena’s inspiration spurred me, now / so we could plan the slaughter of our foes” (16.263-64). Athena acts as an inspiration in the case of Telemachus approaching King Nestor and also when making the plan against the suitors. Athena proves herself as a heroine because she is the reason for Odysseus’ success.
To conclude, female characters Penelope, Circe, and Athena prove their heroism in Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. Penelope exhibits cunning, strength, and perseverance, through how she handles the suitors
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