Masculinity In Homer's Odyssey

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Masculinity Defined by Women The notion of masculinity in Homer’s Odyssey is synonymous with heroism, intellectual aptitude, and physical strength. It could not exist without the presence of the weak females in the story. It is ironic that masculinity is depicted on the surface of the text as procuring dominance over the inferior females because it is from the women that these masculine qualities are derived. The men presented in the Odyssey are not just mentioned as male, but also rather assumed male, because of the “masculine” qualities they possess. All of the significant men in the story like Odysseus and the suitors contain many, if not all of these qualities. The women, whether divine or human, are able to control the degree of these…show more content…
When the men originally arrive on the island to investigate, they are afraid of Circe and very skeptical to go near her house. “They went through the wood and found Circe’s house/In an upland clearing. It was built of polished stone/And surrounded by mountain lions and wolves,/ Creatures Circe had drugged and bewitched./…So these clawed beasts were fawning around my men,/ Who were all terrified all the same by the huge animals” (Page 147, line 226). The men are naturally skeptical, as I would expect a man would be in such compromising situation. However, once the men hear Circe’s beautiful voice, they call to her immediately. The simple voice of a woman makes almost all of these men naïve in a matter of seconds. On page 147, line 24, “Someone inside is weaving a web,/ And singing so beautifully the floor thrums with the sound./Whether it’s a goddess or a woman, let’s call her out now.” “And so they called to her and she came out…and invited them in./ They all filed in naively behind her,/ Except Eurylochus, who suspects a trap.” Only one man out of the entire crew that goes to investigate on the island is able to retain his dignity and skepticism. The others are blinded with infatuation and Circe remains in control of the situation, the driving masculine force. The men that are blinded by infatuation are completely controlled by Circe’s lure. In this case physically, Circe makes them less of men physically by turning them into pigs. This theme of infatuation causing the crew to act naïvely is reoccurring; another example is their confrontation with the sirens. After Odysseus frees his men from Circe, she warns him of the sirens. One page 179, line 37, Circe explains their danger in detail, “ So all that is done. But now listen/ To what I will tell ou. One day a god/ Will remind you of it. First, you will come/ To the Sirens, who bewitch all men/ Who come near. Anyone who
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