Essay On The Role Of Women In The Odyssey

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Women play an influential role in The Odyssey. Women appear throughout the story, as goddesses, wives, princesses, or servants. The women in “The Odyssey” dictate the direction of the epic. Homer the blind creator may have contrived the story with the aim to depict a story of a male heroism; but the story if looked at from a different angles shows the power women have over men. The Sirens and women that posses the power of seduction when ever they are encountered take the men off their course, and lead many to their death. The power women in the Epic pose can be seen from the goddess all to the wives. From The nymph Calypso who enslaves Odysseus for many years posses all the way back to Penelope who many argue is of equal importance to…show more content…
The power and influence of women is symbolized in Odysseus’ encounter with the dead in Hades. In the Underworld, Odysseus meets more women than men. He meets his mother and then a “grand array of women” (334). They all were “wives and daughters once of princes” (334). All of them are the legendary women who were the mothers of the greatest Greek lineages. This symbolizes how Greek civilization was founded by women; they were the ones who gave birth to the heroes. Similarly, The Odyssey is a story created by women. The plot revolves around the actions of women. Athena orchestrates all the events. The seductresses, such as Circe, the sirens, and Calypso, attempt to stop Odysseus from reaching home. The helpmeets, such as Nausicaa, Arete, and Athena, aid Odysseus in his homecoming. The wise and virtuous Penelope is the object of Odysseus’ quest. Unlike Helen who forsakes her husband, Penelope remains faithful. Unlike Clytemnestra who assassinates her husband, Penelope patiently waits for Odysseus. She becomes a model of female patience and of female intelligence. Her craftiness is the only one which can match up to Odysseus’. The Odyssey presents a wide array of women and demonstrates the influence that women have in the life of a
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