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.
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.
In spite of the fact that Homer’s Odyssey is an epic story of a man’s gallant journey, women play a huge part throughout. Their unique yet controversial personalities, intentions, and relationships are vital to the development of this epic and adventurous journey of Odysseus. The poem by Homer was written at a time when women had an inferior position in society, yet that didn’t stop them from being any less influential. All of the women throughout the Odyssey possess different qualities, but all of them help to define the role of the ideal woman.
In Homer’s Poem, The Odyssey, Penelope is the exceptionally patient and clever spouse of the infamous hero, Odysseus, and the mother of Telemachus. One poignant factor of Penelope’s character is her patience and devotion which is displayed throughout the poem. With her husband absent for a great majority of her life for the later of twenty years and his location unknown, Penelope stays, patiently awaiting Odysseus’ return, all whilst preserving their estate and raising her son by herself. Throughout this time, she had many persistent suitors in pursuit of her, abusing her husband’s absence.
In many societies today, individuals are led to believe that the concept of women possessing their own strength or independence is abnormal. As a result, women experience the world in a constrained way in comparison to men, even if they are in higher classes of society. However, these extensive aspects of females are contradicted in some ancient Greek literature. In the epic poem, The Odyssey, Homer portrays women as a vital and powerful force through the characters Penelope and Circe, who counter the normality of misogyny in Homer’s time. Penelope’s character displays how some women are able to exceed society’s standards and show strength and cleverness when it is necessary.
In Homer's epic poem,The Odyssey, women are a major part of the story. In ancient times, women were very limited to their rights. They were expected to stay at home all day every day. When men would cheat on their wives it was fine, but when woman cheated they were shamed. When their husbands would leave, they would have to feel lonely while the Husband could go off and cheat. For example, when odysseus left Penelope all alone, he went out and cheated on her with Calypso. Although many people believe that Homer presented woman positively, the characters the Sirens, Scylla and Calypso actually suggest the opposite.
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.
In an epic poem, The Odyssey, by Homer, Odysseus struggles to come back home while his wife, Penelope, faces barbarous suitors who plague her house to court her for the marriage in order to claim the kingship of Ithaca. With an absence of the man of the household and a son who is not old enough to rule over the country and handle the domestic complications, Penelope endeavors to keep the household orderly and civilized. In order to prevent further chaos in the household, Penelope maintains her role as the Queen of Ithaca and Odysseus’s wife through her loyalty and cunning. For a woman who does not know when her man will return home, Penelope is extremely strong to keep hope and wait for her husband; thus, her unwavering loyalty to her husband
The Odyssey Character Analysis Essay During a time where males had complete hegemony over society, its customs, its people and its conventions, several women in the epic The Odyssey became notable through their actions that defied what it meant to be a woman in ancient Greece. As the wife of the renowned hero Odysseus, Penelope demonstrated a level of sagacity that rivaled that of her husband’s through the subtle deception of others. Similarly, the powerful magic wielding nymph Kalypso also revealed the outstanding intellect that enabled her to secure an iron rule over her own island. Although seeming to be radically different, these two individuals both utilized their wits extensively throughout the epic, differing only in the traits that
Antigone and Penelope are both known as significant women during the ancient Greek time period. Antigone is considered to be a strong-willed woman who is deemed a noble heroine in the book titled Antigone, one of The Three Theban Plays written by Sophocles. Similarly, Penelope, in the Odyssey written by Homer, is considered to be a strong, independent woman who is a loyal mother and wife. Penelope sets an ideal womanly example during ancient Greek time period. While both of these women are known for they individual strengths and fearlessness, they are both motivated to proceed in different manners.
In the journal article “Rewriting The Odyssey in the Twenty-First Century”. The idea of Penelope taking control into her own hands, in a time when women did not stand up for themselves but rather were emotionally constricted is shown. Penelope’s demeanor is of a woman that does not let society rule what she can or cannot do, and because of this thinking she is able to have an advantage over other women and of men who are the ones in charge of any decision-making (Suzuki). Penelope is the second female character that is not a god that is able to maintain authority of her own in The Odyssey. This is ultimately Homer’s way of expressing his views towards the male societies of his time and their
The Odyssey by Homer contains multiple moments where female characters are oppressed or fit into a patriarchy, but there are several moments where these character show signs of rebellion against this oppression. Applying a critical lense of feminism to these characters and relationships create complexities and conflicts within the novel that shine meaning on the world. The character Penelope offers many of these moments. Analyzing the actions, situation, and comparisons with other characters using a the feminist critical lense will show a more enriched version of Penelope and offer a deeper insight of the patriarchy, and how is affects the world.
In Ancient Greek Civilization, women were viewed as submissive. A man always controlled the women; that either being the Father or Husband. Women were forced to stay in the house and complete all household duties. Women were not even granted the right to attend assemblies, participate in politics, or even represent themselves in court. Having little to no overall power in your society can have a huge burden on Women but this can also fuel certain Women to strive to change the society they live in. Aristophanes Lysistrata and Homer’s Odyssey both show how women can thrive in their society and fight for what they believe in, even if that goes against the gender roles portrayed in Greek Civilization.
In “Gender and the Homeric Epic”, an article by Nancy Felson and Laura M. Slatkin, the gender roles of various characters in The Odyssey, an epic poem by Homer, are examined in the constraining and progressive lens Homer takes. The characters of the epic most explicitly analyzed are Odysseus and his wife, Penelope; in this article the authors show the traditional gender roles both adhere to, but also exhibit the ways in which the characters are able to reach across the restraining gender roles, without making this story entirely about gender. Through this article one can see that the constraining nature of gender roles seen in society, is not inherent in the society presented in The Odyssey, which describes an intrinsic fluidity which is seen in a plethora of characters. “Gender and the Homeric Epic” discusses the gender roles conceived throughout Homer’s story through the characters Homer and Penelope. Homer represents the masculine war hero, returning home with what should be glory and happiness.
Everyday women like Penelope were believed to have no purpose in common society other than being confined to a kitchen each day and complete domestic house duties. The name Penelope was deliberately selected as it translates to mean pulling, or spinning which is an allegorical phrase in itself, the first meaning associates her cunning weaving of plots and schemes which proves her to be sly and the secondary referring to cloth which was a part of an everyday life duty for women, producing articles of clothing. Being a hospitable host to guests was also a key function, which is first noticed when she offers help to Odysseus in disguise “Give him a wash and spread a couch for him here, with bedding and coverlets and with shining blankets”. It is argued that Penelope is secretly a spider, weaving her own web of lies getting stuck in her own trap which is hidden from the public as women were not meant to be clever or be known for any kind of crafty intelligence. In contrast to this old way of societies expectations, Atwood utilizes Penelope’s strength in character to warn women not to follow in her footsteps by giving them the advice of “Do not look the other way”, “Tell them (referring to males) what you think”, “Argue with them”, and “make them squirm”, these pieces of wisdom create a stronger emphasis on having equal respect and appreciation for women which also conflicts the differences between Ancient and Modern times and highlights the evolution of society.