World Literature Paper – Role of Athena and Penelope in The Odyssey 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. Amongst the many women portrayed in the book, the two most important women are Athena and Penelope.
The role of women in The Odyssey is to exhibit the many roles that women perform in the lives of men. There is a quote that states that behind every successful men there is a woman; to which homer would probably agree. As it was stated before, we can make reference to such quote by picturing The Odyssey without woman in the epic. Without woman, Odysseus would probably make it faster to Ithaca or would probably die in many of the obstacles that Zeus was putting in his way. Men’s position or respect, in ancient Greek mythology, was determinate by the things had successfully fulfilled in their life but no men had ever recognize that such success is part of the role that woman have in their lives.
The goal of this essay is to evaluate Odysseus’s conduct with the nymphs, the sirens, and his wife, Penelope. The role of women in the Odyssey is paramount and very well represented. In fact, there are more female characters in the Odyssey than a typical Hollywood movie would ever have. I personally do not believe that Odysseus was some kind of a woman-hating monster who used women to get what he wanted in life instead his mission in life was to get home to Penelope his wife and son Telemachus but was forced into some very difficult situations and circumstances along the way. For example, when he is almost completely seduced by Calypso and inevitably stay on her island for several years due to lust and lavish opportunity delaying his journey home.
Henry will turn me out…He’ll find another wife, who can give him proper children. There’ll be nothing-nothing in the world for me-nothing” (71). This forlorn desperate monologue given by Aunt Harriett is what truly cements the treatment of women when they do not meet the societal standard. This idea that a woman who cannot produce healthy children is less of a woman is not a belief shared exclusively by men. Mrs. Wender is appalled by the fact her husband has not thrown her out for
Countless of these tearful songs have been written, describing the image of the woman behind a hero’s victory. In The “Odyssey”, Homer transforms the audience’s perspective about women significantly. All of them, whether beautiful woman or powerful goddesses, are occupied by sorrows. Especially, Penelope and Calypso--the two most influential women in both appearance and the complicated relationship with the guile hero. Although they have very different personalities and backgrounds--one is the queen of Ithaca, and the other is a magnificent goddess.
The women are treated as if their welfare is unimportant because women are thought of as a mere decoration to the society and are considered useless enough to not pay any attention to. Another evidence, according to Hosseini (2007), “ “...You are not able to think like we can. Western doctors and their science have proven this, This is why we require only one male witness but two female ones” ” (p.390). This proves how
In the movie, there are three main female characters in the story namely Ofelia, Carmen and Mercedes. First, let us start with Carmen. Carmen, Ofelia’s mother, offers full submission to Captain Vidal. She does everything that he asks her to do for she wants to get out of her situation. She was blinded by power for she wants her daughter’s future to be secured and she was longing for a man in her life when she said that she was alone for too long.
Several instances of strong allegiance to Odysseus can be seen as Odysseus returns to Ithaca and interacts with Eumaeus under disguise. Odysseus’ wife, Penelope, is one of the reoccurring examples of continued loyalty to Odysseus throughout the epic. Eumaeus mentions that anytime someone comes to Ithaca proclaiming “news” concerning Odysseus, Penelope will welcome them and ask for details, only to be disappointed and continue grieving. Even ten years after his disappearance, she shrugs off her suitors in hopes that he will someday return to her. She has come up with numerous schemes to avoid marriage, thus preventing another from ruling Ithaca in Odysseus’ absence through marriage to her.
Euripides’ The Trojan Women expresses the disbelief and hope of ancient Greek women during the Trojan war. The characterization and dialogue between Hecuba, Andromache, and Cassandra, shows the role of women in society during that time, as well as their different prerogatives towards the war and its consequences. Likewise, The Odyssey by Homer uses the main female character, Penelope, to convey the role of women and their opinions towards the social changes from the war. Both texts, collectively, use dialogue to develop hopeful and hopeless ideas within the women of ancient Greece. Euripides’ The Trojan Women tells the story of three women, Hecuba, Andromache, and Cassandra, who struggle with their lives after the murders of their husbands