The Portrayal Of Women In The Odyssey

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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. 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. She claimed “He caught my right hand. . .and said . . . ‘but once you see the beard on the boy’s cheek, you wed the man you like, and leave your house behind’. . .” However, that was a lie, since shortly after, Homer wrote “Staunch Odysseus glowed with joy to hear all …show more content…

The Odyssey embodies the proverb in the intro about women and men, which states that men are only successful when women support them. Without Penelope, Circe, Athena, and Calypso, Odysseus’ journey would have continued in agony and ended ultimately in his death. Many powerful women today, like Michelle Obama and Malala, inspire men and women alike to stand up for what they believe in and support others. Without their influence and that of other strong women, many celebrities, who people look up to, would not be who they are

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