The Women of Homer’s Odyssey Homer’s Odyssey, by, is typically seen as a male dominated poem: the hero is male and the majority of the characters are male. We follow the men on their attempt to return to Ithaca. However, even though women are not the main characters, they are omnipresent through much of the story. Women play a very important role in the movement of the story line: they all want to marry, help or hurt Odysseus.
The Threatening Women of Homer's Odyssey Aristotle called this poem 'a story of character' which is very true, as the analysis of people in the Odyssey id detailed and they are carefully depicted. Though the women still remain a fairly mysterious force that test Odysseus' determination for 'nostos' (hero's return home), requiring the man whose words are "like snowflakes" to use every trick he has to evade their threat, his civility not allowing him to strike them. In the Underworld, Agamemnon made it very clear in his enlightened state (consider the wiser Achilles who now regrets his noble death - "rather work the soil as a serf...than be King of all these lifeless dead" 11.490), as one of the dead that women "are no longer to be trusted". It is no co-incidence then that the female figures that Odysseus meets after this point are the most ferocious and dangerous. Both Scylla and Charybdis are hideous monsters, depicted as female, and so too are the tempting Sirens, all which test the hero.
Throughout history, gender discrimination has taken away countless lives of women, lowering the overall social status of women in society. For example, Salem witch trials, a series of unreasonably prosecution of women accused of witchcraft, in Massachusetts are an ancient example of gender discrimination towards women. The Odyssey by Homer exemplifies a modern vision of breaking free from the obsolete cultural expectations of the Greek society as well as the world, seeking for gender equality and demanding for a more egalitarian society. Despite the restrictions on the role of female in a typical patriarchal Greek society, Homer innovatively breaks the barrier that persistently favors males over females, which results in a unique influence on his male characters as well as a strong female attitude behind each line of the epic poem. This feminist aberration from traditional Greek values is portrayed through the intelligence of Penelope, the tenacious assistance of Athena for Odysseus in spite of Poseidon’s antagonism, and the imprisonment of Odysseus by Calypso.
The Powerful Women of Homer's Odyssey Homer's "Odyssey" depicts women as strong subjects-they are real substantive characters. Women in this poem are tough, strong-willed and are treated with the respect and seriousness they deserve. Homer characterizes the women in his poem as the real counterparts of men-they have real feelings, real plans and are able to accomplish them on their own. Some of the more impressive and intriguing women in the book are Nausicaa, Arete, Circe, Calypso, Penelope, Helen and Athena. Nausicaa is a sweet girl, and on the outside she may appear to just be the stereotypical woman, but, in the poem she has much more depth.
In the Odyssey, Homer depicts women in a much different way than if he would have if the epic was written in present times. For example, many stereotypes are used to define how women such as Circe, Penelope, and Calypso act throughout the story. Also, these women play many roles in Odysseus’ journey. If these roles had been changed or switched, the journeys of both Telemachus and Odysseus would have been drastically changed.
In Homer’s epic, The Odyssey, women play an integral role in the life of Odysseus, the story’s protagonist. Odysseus is forced to leave the comforts of Ithaca because of a woman, Helen, and he longs to return to his home largely for a woman, his wife Penelope. Throughout his journey, however, it is Circe who has a heavy influence on Odysseus because she is a major distraction and thus an obstacle for the renowned hero. Indeed, Circe’s comeliness coupled with her sorcery, and her kindness along with lavish hospitality all distract Odysseus and impede him from swiftly returning home.
In the Odyssey, the experiences Odysseus faced were caused and influenced by a certain amount of woman who some could say controlled his life. Odysseus’ wife Penelope was always the woman in his heart even though he travelled to many different lands and was offered immortality, wealth or amazing sex he turned them all down in hopes of one day returning to his one true love. Through all his troubles he spent in a total of 10 years lost at sea not including the 10 years due to the Trojan War, he spent 7 with the lustrous Calypso, encountered the godlike beauty Nausicaa and spent another year with the bewitching enchantress Circe. The journey of Odysseus even he didn’t know was aided by the help of goddess Athena, daughter of Zeus who guided his
This is connected to my subject of women roles in literature because even though the women in this story are very independent they are all gullible and insecure qualities, which flaw capabilities of being dominant or at least equal to men. Reading and comparing the Odyssey, Sakuntala, and Good Country People can see the changing role of women in literature. The women in all three works are highly valued by the men close
Throughout Homer’s work, The Odyssey, the roles of both men and women are extremely prevalent. The women are expected to perform the duties of the homemaker and family caretaker while the men are sent out to fight and defend their pride and honor, both very important facets of Greek society. Though the women may appear as insignificant to readers at first, their true power over the men in the work cannot be ignored.
In the 'Odyssey' women can easily play the role of a wife, a mother, caretaker and a loyal lover. These roles do not show many positive implications than the roles that men play in society, yet it is proved that women and their roles in society contributed a bigger picture. The power and authority of women lies within her at the same time using the combination of wit and incline attributes, they seem to fulfill their feminine roles. Even though the role of a man might be to lead, women seem to fulfill the roles of a leader.