The Role Of Women In The Odyssey

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Greek tragedy incorporates female characters that symbolize women in Ancient Greece. Through the portrayal of Antigone in the playwright, Antigone in Antigone by Sophocles and Penelope in the epic poem, The Odyssey by Homer, these two women play opposing roles depicting how they appear to society through their actions. In both of these stories, they embody the ideals of passionate women who are very loyal and brave. Through other female characters in each story such as Penelope and Ismene, we can construct a better view of traits illustrated by Antigone and Penelope. In Antigone, Antigone is the heroine who demonstrates the qualities of loyalty and bravery. Creon, the leader of Thebes, has declared that Polyneices cannot be given the proper…show more content…
These two examples alone give us the impression, which degrades women and the power they had. On the contrary, Antigone goes against society view and a norm to do what she considers is morally proper. Ismene, Antigone’s sister and foil of the story, is compared with her throughout the story since Ismene believes that adhering to the law is more important over family loyalty. Ismene says: “I shall obey those who are in authority, for deeds that are excessive make no sense at all” (Antigone, Page 22, Line 67-68). In the end, Antigone is punished because of her wrongdoing within her gender norms, since she independently made herself the role of hero and stepped over the gender ideal boundaries in doing what was right, instead of expecting Haemon to do so, which advances the view of how brave and loyal she…show more content…
In the epic poem, it gives images of Penelope and Clytemnestra that helps to interpret what an ideal woman Penelope was in Ancient Greece. Penelope is represented as the ideal woman because she remains trustworthy to Odysseus, even though he has been gone for several years. Penelope also embodies the ideal Greek woman because she is a faithful wife to Odysseus, a great hostess, and rejects all moves upon her from the suitors in her house. One quote at the end of the book that shows she’s been loyal for this long time period is when the book states, “ The more she spoke, the more deep desire for tears welled up inside his breast—he wept as he held the wife he loved, the soul of loyalty, in his arms at last” (Homer, Odyssey, Book 23, Line 259-261). On top of that she shows a sense of intelligence being able to scheme and deal with the suitors around her all the time. Another great quote that represents her loyalty is when Penelope says “they court me against my law, they lay waste in my house (Homer, Odyssey, Book 19, Line 148)”, which is when she [Penelope] herself is basically explaining how she remains loyal even though there are several men making advances towards her in her own
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