Transformation Of Women In The Odyssey

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The Role of Women in the Transformation of Men into Warriors War has always been a key element in symbolizing manhood. Men who have participated in wars and battles have been portrayed as manly. In the ancient world, being a warrior or having been in battle distinguished you from a boy to man. This is especially true in both The Epic of Gilgamesh translated by Andrew George and The Odyssey translated by Stanley Lombardo. The characters Telemachus and Enkidu were not viewed as men until after becoming warriors. However, they did not accomplish this transformation alone. Despite the patriarchal societies both characters inhabit, it was the female characters, Athena and Shamhat, who were responsible for the warrior like transformations that Enkidu…show more content…
Before Athena presented herself to Telemachus, he was not seen as a man and was not treated with respect (Lombardo 4). Unlike in Epic of Gilgamesh, Athena was more of a mentor than a direct influence on Telemachus. She gave him advice that would later enable him to become a warrior (Lombardo 9). She tells Telemachus it is his duty to rid his house of the suitors, and become a man (Lombardo 10). She continues by saying that he must kill the suitors if his father does not come back, once again pushing him on the path of becoming a warrior (Lombardo 9). She later goes of on a tangent by saying “haven't you heard how Orestos won glory throughout the world when he killed Aegisthus” implying that he needs be a warrior in order to gain manhood and a name for himself (Lombardo 10). She mentions how he needs to be aggressive and strong, which are characteristics of a good warrior (Lombardo 10). After her visit, she puts courage in his heart which does not go unnoticed. After his encounter with Athena, he addresses the suitors with boldness (Lombardo 12). After seeing his transformation, the suitors notice his warrior like behavior begin to treat him with some respect (Lombardo 13). Therefore, it is Athena which enables Telemachus to become a lofty warrior and eventually battle alongside his father in the fight against the…show more content…
They enable the transformation of Enkidu and Telemachus into warriors. Before meeting the women, Telemachus and Enkidu did not fit the role of menl. Despite biologically being men, they were not men in the eyes of their societies. Consequently, both Enkidu and Telemachus were not seen as men and were not treated as such. Although Shamhat was more directly involved with the transformation of Enkidu than Athena was in the transformation of Telemachus, they both had major impacts on the characters and lead to them becoming great
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