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.
Though women play a central role in the Odyssey the portrayal and characterization of said women is often times sexist and places most of the women in positions of power until Odysseus or one of the male gods comes along and puts a stop to it. All of the women are characterized with few traits, most of which only describe their looks, while the reader is constantly reminded of all of Odysseus good traits. Even Penelope, who is portrayed as the ideal woman, is only ever described as ‘beautiful’ and ‘faithful’. Though this does make sense considering the time period and how during the time women were considered property of men.
On Tuesday, February 6th, the Crockett House Firm charged the epic poem, The Odyssey, for representing the degradation of women, specifically, women being objectified and misrepresented. The Crockett House Firm wants these charges to be judges from a modern, American cultural context. The Crockett House firm is the prosecution and finds The Odyssey guilty of the charges. The Griffin House Firm is the defense for this trial and finds The Odyssey not guilty. I find the defendant not guilty on the charge of degradation of women from a modern American cultural context. The defense has shown through witness, textual evidence, and cross examination that the epic poem The Odyssey is not guilty.
The Homeric Hymns portray Aphrodite, Athena, Artemis and Hestia as strong females who uphold their own beliefs; challenging the “typical” gender stereotypes of the time period. Women in antiquity were expected to follow and uphold certain societal rules, most of these rules emphasized the gender stereotypes that women were perceived as being. The use of the goddesses powers challenge these societal rules and ideas about women. Aphrodite, Athena, Artemis, and Hestia are portrayed in the Homeric Hymns in contrast to ancient stereotypical roles of women being confined to the household; as a result this contrast emphasizes that women can showcase strength, intelligence, and power within society.
The treatment of women has always been different in different societies, cultures, and time periods. In the Odyssey, the treatment of the female gods is different than the treatment of mortal women because the gods are a powerful being, but the mortal women are property and owned by their husbands. If a women marries a man who she has more money then, they will live in her house, but he will be in charge of everything, including herself. In book 21 and book 3 show the power of the mortal women compared to the power of the goddesses. In the Odyssey, the mortal women are treated and used differently from the way that the goddesses are worshiped because of the gender and societal roles that each group of women are assigned.
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.
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. 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.
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 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. Through specific incidences, this influence of women is clearly depicted.
Homer’s, The Odyssey is an epic which was written many years ago. At that time, in Ancient Greek society, the dominant role was played by men and the women were considered and given an inferior position. But The Odyssey was often considered a women’s epic because women played an important role. Women in The Odyssey are portrayed as powerful, wise and controlling because they ensure that the illusion of male success will go on - they speak as men through women.
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 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. Aristophanes Lysistrata and Homer’s Odyssey both show how women can thrive in their society and fight for what they believe in, even if that goes against the gender roles portrayed in Greek Civilization.
In ancient times, there is a general sense that women were simply items and slaves to their husbands. Ancient Greece specifically has a renowned reputation of favoring men. Men possessed the dominant role in public affairs and events while most women were pressured to stay at home. Very few records extensively discuss women; the records focus mostly on men. Despite the lacking records, it is certain how ancient Greeks viewed their women and their relationships with their male counterparts. Sadly, most of how women lived away from their husbands’ world and how they interacted with other female companionship remains a mystery.
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.
Gender inequality is not a new topic. Throughout history, women have faced significant sexist discrimination starting with being denied basic rights enjoyed by men. In many societies, women have been categorized as inferior to men. Greek poet, Homer, consistently highlighted this ‘women are inferior’ theme throughout his writings of The Iliad and The Odyssey. Even though this degradation of women has currently been brought to light in the 21st century, it continues to remain a serious issue. Women are still subjected to falling short of equal status with men on a daily basis.