preview

Theme Of Gender Inequality In The Odyssey

Powerful Essays
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. Throughout The Iliad women are treated like property. Women are not people but rather a prize to be won or lost, bereft of individual identity. In the opening of The Iliad, Agamemnon captures Chryses’ daughter, Chrysies. In an attempt to win his daughter back, Chryses offers Agamemnon a ransom. Agamemnon, however, declines the ransom causing Chryses to seek help from Apollo. Apollo hears this cry for help and sends a plague to…show more content…
During his trip to the underworld, Odysseus encounters numerous types of women. Homer tends to describe these women by detailing their attractiveness, successful kin, or scandalous sexual affairs with gods, but never by their own accomplishments. It appears that the only accomplishment Homer’s women can achieve is being remarkably attractive. For instance, Odysseus’ queen, Penelope, is admired because of her beauty and status as a newly single queen. The suitors show no inkling of respect for her. They refuse to stop using Odysseus’ wealth to better themselves. Since she is a woman, however, Penelope lacks the power to control or banish these men. Through Penelope, Homer tells the Greeks how a picture-perfect wife should act toward her husband. Even though Odysseus has been gone for twenty years, Penelope still follows his wishes and fulfills his desire for her to stay
Get Access