David Ligare painted a woman on canvas. The thick horizontal layers of sky, water, and earth, that fill the frame, mimic a standstill in time, or perhaps a building up of successive pressure. Slicing through these stratospheres sits a woman. She is tall, even when folded in a chair. All in white, she looks inwards, refusing the sight of the sea. With a harsh indignant frown, lifeless arms, and folded hands the woman seems tired of contemplation. This barefoot queen is Homer’s Penelope. Her journey is captured perfectly in this moment. From Ligare’s 1980 painting, Penelope1, there comes a notion that she is the story. This insight, that The Odyssey is about Penelope as much as it is about Odysseus, is also held by many critics today. The fact …show more content…
Both Odysseus and Penelope want the same thing, to be together. In order to achieve their goal, they face separate yet equal challenges. Odysseus takes on sirens, cyclops, and Poseidon’s wrath. His struggle is an active voyage, continuously moving. On the other hand, Penelope takes on the world from her home. She is physically static, but has several mountains to overcome. Yet, this does not make her journey inferior to her husband’s. His story is exciting and thrilling, but Penelope’s has a slower simmer that entices the audience to look closer. It is easy to focus on the action packed sections of the story. But consider that Homer does not even enter Odysseus’s realm until the fifth book. Most would not dwell on the woman waiting at home as extensively as Homer does. Yet, he takes it a step farther by assigning Penelope as the guardian of Athena’s symbol, the olive tree. In the end, it is a full circle that encompasses the sacred olive tree bed that the faithful queen has preserved. Therefore it makes sense that, Athena, the goddess of wisdom is the puppeteer behind Odysseus’s journey. She is constantly pointing his sails to Penelope. By using the olive tree as a symbol, Homer begs the audience to recognize Penelope as the heroine of the
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“My lady goddess, here is no cause for anger. My quiet Penelope—how well I know—would seem a shade before your majesty, death and old age being unknown to you, while she must die. Yet, it is true, each day I long for home…”, (Homer 56); (2) To expand, Odyssey always knew that he would get himself home, “She enchants him and wants him to stay and become her husband, but eventually Athena persuades Zeus to command her to let him return to Penelope.”
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
Penelope’s power does not only derive from her position in her household, it also derives from her character. Her worth is measured by her action and choices and what others thinks of her. She is praised by men and placed on a level of status only equaled to men. The obvious role she played was to help her husband and his return, but the more complex one is her impact on the society and its rules that Homer depicted. Penelope was in the epic a woman who was wielding power in a misogynistic society, and she had to bend and break rules to gain and justify the authority she had over
The odyssey, an epic told by Homer in ancient greece, has many major themes following odysseus’s adventures. While Odysseus is sentenced to never return home after the Trojan War. He is overcoming challenges to return home to his wife penelope and his son Telemachus. Throughout the story major themes of loyalty, hospitality and vengeance are hidden within the plot. The story continues to show his heroic side with three major traits.
In The Odyssey Homer makes Odysseus’ journey to his beloved Ithaca excruciating. Odysseus encounters many friends and foes throughout his journey and has to be a leader throughout his experiences. As an example, he encounters Polyphemus and Poseidon, both of whom make his journey mentally and physically painful. Odysseus faces countless scenarios in which he has to save multiple people in those situations. He also encounters the suitors, who are a group of men that try to marry Penelope, when he returns to reclaim his home.
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.
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.
“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.
Yes, Penelope struggles greatly with a very important decision throughout the course of the story. In the background of the main plot, Penelope struggles with a very important decision throughout the time Odysseus remains lost at sea. After many years without Odysseus’ return, the prospect of a new marriage inclines itself onto Penelope. The sons of the noblest families come to live with Penelope in order to court her for marriage.
Even some women were crushing on Odysseus and even held him captive Athena guided Odysseus through most of the journey. There is much cheating in the Odyssey among royalty and gods/goddesses When Odysseus finally returns back to his hometown, he is unrecognizable and rejected among his people Penelope has her doubts and holds and archery contest to prove his worth, which
These women influenced the conditions of the journey by guiding Odysseus in different directions, and aiding him crucially. Their authority showed the idea behind an old proverb, which states, “Behind every great man there’s a great woman”. Throughout The Odyssey, the women exemplified their power during the course of Odysseus’ journey. Odysseus’ wife, Penelope, bravely held down the front in Ithaca while her husband struggled to find his way back home. In Book 18, Penelope spoke to the ever-so-desperate suitors about what Odysseus “told” her before he left.
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.
Even though people typically believe that the main hero of Homer’s the Odyssey is Odysseus himself, the true hero of the Odyssey is Penelope. Even though her entire story isn’t told in the epic poem, you can still tell that she went through struggles and trials just as her husband Odysseus did. Along with going through trials, she comes up with witty ideas in order to overcome them. She is very clever, and she also plans long-term. She is loyal to Odysseus and faithfully waits for his return.
In an epic poem, The Odyssey, by Homer, Odysseus struggles to come back home while his wife, Penelope, faces barbarous suitors who plague her house to court her for the marriage in order to claim the kingship of Ithaca. With an absence of the man of the household and a son who is not old enough to rule over the country and handle the domestic complications, Penelope endeavors to keep the household orderly and civilized. In order to prevent further chaos in the household, Penelope maintains her role as the Queen of Ithaca and Odysseus’s wife through her loyalty and cunning. For a woman who does not know when her man will return home, Penelope is extremely strong to keep hope and wait for her husband; thus, her unwavering loyalty to her husband
Ironically, though their conquests were different and, the different challenges they had to go through. For both characters, their motivation was personal: they were fighting to return or to save the person that they love. Odysseus’ main motivation was to return home to his wife - Penelope, while Percy had to face a more dire quest