The Role Of Women In Homer's The Odyssey

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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.
Penelope proves that women can be just as smart, if not smarter, than men. She outsmarts the suitors that invade her home to escape marriage. For example, she weaves each day for years and tells the suitors that when she is done she will marry. Homer writes, “This was her latest masterpiece of guile: she set up a great loom in the royal halls and she began to weave, and the weaving finespun, the yarns endless, and she would lead us on: ‘Young men, my suitors, now that King Odysseus is no more, go slowly, keen as you are to marry me, until I can finish off this web…” (Homer). She deceives them because she undoes all of her work after every day with the knowledge that they are too busy with feasts and wine to notice. This further confirms that she is very intelligent and can outwit all the men who have taken over her home. The idea of a woman who can outsmart men is also very powerful and

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