There are many huge roles to be displayed in society all throughout The Odyssey. The Odyssey was written by Homer and located in Ancient Greece. Women like Athena and Penelope play huge roles that initially help Odysseus throughout his struggles. The role of women in The Odyssey is to show how women could be obstacles, be great helpers, and show how they do it by being cunning. Penelope shows in different ways how she is cunning and loyal throughout the book. Penelope is cunning because she stops the suitors from marrying her for a long time. In book one and two her plan was to make a burial shroud for Odysseus, because he was assumed dead, but every night she would unwind the burial shroud so it would never finish. “So by day she’d weave …show more content…
One example of this would be in Book 5 when Calypso holds Odysseus captive for 7 years. “Who is still alive, held captive off in the endless seas? Unless he’s dead by now. I want to know the truth though it grieves me all the more.’ ‘Odysseus’”(Fagles 142). If it was not for Calypso holding Odysseus captive for such an extended period of time Odysseus would have been home way before he actually got home. This was a huge obstacle in his return home and most definitely why it took him so long to get home. Circe was another character who had made Odysseus deal with a large obstacle. Odysseus and his crew all go to feast with Circe which ended up being a costly mistake that turned his crew into pigs. “But into the brew she stirred her wicked drugs to wipe from their memories any thought of home. Once they’d drained the bowls she filled, suddenly she struck with her wand, drove them into her pigsties”(Fagles 237). Circe tricked Odysseus’ crew into drinking the stew that turned them into pigs. This ended up affecting Odysseus as his men were turned into pigs, but she did so because the crew acted like pigs. After the fact she does play a helpful role in Odysseus’ return by providing him with everything he
Odysseus remained on the island for one year, sleeping with Circe and eventually impregnating her. By sleeping with Circe, Odysseus honoured the hospitality granted by Circe, who showed mercy towards Odysseus and his men. She transformed some of his men into pigs where she could’ve as easily killed them and potentially Odysseus too. In an almost perverted way, by having intercourse with Circe, Odysseus showed his respect towards the hospitality that Circe was providing. However, after a year, his crew begs him to leave Circe and go home.
One of the destinations that Odysseus lands on is the witch Circe’s island. There, her beguiling voice attracts Odysseus’ men. When they arrive at her hall, Circe turns the men to pigs. Eurylochus urgently runs to Odysseus to alert him, to which “Odysseus leaves the ship and rushes to Circe’s hall” (Homer 758). Circe forces Odysseus and his men to stay for months until they finally beg to leave.
Aside from the role that Penelope plays in Odysseus’ life, many parts of the story show how Penelope has her own purpose and determination. To get the suitors off of her back, she devises a plan to stall her marriage. “I said to all my suitors, ‘Although Odysseus is dead, postpone requests for marriage till I finish weaving this sheet to shroud Laertes when he dies. (…)’ By day I wove the web, and in the night by torchlight, I unwove it.
She used her beauty and manipulation for years and no matter what she did, Odysseus grieved and cried every night and wished to go home to his real lover that he missed dearly. Once Calypso let him leave the island, she ultimately accepted her time she had with her lover and agreed to help him. She helped him build a raft to leave her island, along with directions for his journey. In conclusion, Calypso is a strong beautiful goddess that defied traditional gender roles and
From the strong-willed Penelope to the cunning Athena, The Odyssey showcases the diverse roles and complexities of women. Athena helps Odysseus with his battle against the suitors in the hall. Athena guides all of Odysseus's arrows so then he can kill the suitors however he wants and without
Women in The Odyssey Gender roles, specifically of women, were a little different back in 700 B.C. They played more of a typical role, expected to get married and have kids at a young age. They were expected to take care of the house and children, while their husbands were out fighting wars. However, while women in The Odyssey were greatly valued for their beauty, Homer reveals that they also had to be intelligent to be successful in their lives.
Instead, she deceives the suitors by telling them that she will marry one of them after she finishes weaving a robe. However, she would unravel the robe after completing it to postpone marrying another. This action represents Penelope’s commitment to her husband and dedication to him, despite not knowing his current status regarding whether he is alive. All of these are attributes that men in Ancient Greece found desirable in a
“The Odyssey,” written by Greek poet Homer is an epic tale depicting the brutally enduring quest home of the Greek hero, Odysseus. Within this heroic story, women play a very large and pivotal role in Odysseus’s trip home from the Trojan War. In his attempt to get back to his wife, Penelope, Odysseus’s progress is constantly hindered by the intervention of women who will do anything in order to either convince the heroic figure to stay with them or have him killed. The intentions of the women in the epic are all very different but one of the most prominent roles lies in the seductresses and the alluring women who will deeply influence Odysseus. Most importantly, Penelope plays a large role in portraying the importance of women’s roles in the story.
They took and drank the mixture. Then she struck them, using her magic wand, and penned them in the pigsty” (10.233-240). This quote indicates that Circe is evil and manipulates men, like all goddesses in the Odyssey. Calypso has power over Odysseus by detaining him for seven years on the island of Oygia. Calypso is displayed as clingy throughout the narrative for example, “Calpyso held me in
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.
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.
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 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 Greek epics, tragedies, and mythology women are portrayed in various ways. Women are mainly considered to be weak and less important than men, but there are some women who are shown to be strong and heroic, despite the reputation that was placed onto them in Ancient Greek civilizations. There were two particular women that were strong and took the roles of their husbands while the men left to fight in the Trojan War. These two women were Penelope, wife of Odysseus, and Clytemnestra, wife of Agamemnon. These two women were different in how they chose to rule while their husbands were at war and how they acted once they got back.