The Odyssey exemplifies a society organized and controlled by men where males consistently treated women unequally depriving them of true freedom. Homer’s male characters often saw women as second-hand citizens who had not true voice in society. One example of a women who is oppressed by men in the text is Odysseus’ wife Penelope. Although Penelope is queen of Ithaca her power in the kingdom is limited. Her life is controlled by her son Telemachus and the Achaean suitors who have been taken advantage of the kingdom for several years. At one point in the text Telemachus tells his mother “Words are for men, for all, especially for me; for power within this house rest here” (Homer, 7). This shows how men regarded themselves as the ones with power over society while they...
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...tested Odysseus to make sure it was him for she “feared some man might come and cheat [her] with his tale” (Homer, 226) showing how truly loyal she is to Odysseus. Although Odysseus was unfaithful there is no consequence for his actions for he is a man but for those women who were unfaithful it could be see how they are punished by men. In the case of Odysseus’ maids they were “unworthy” for they laid with the suitors and as punishment Telemachus says that “By no honorable death [their lives will be taken]” (Homer, 220). The difference in expectations between men and women when it comes to loyalty promotes gender inequality which makes the views The Odyssey has on society rather misogynistic.
Homer endorsed the dominating belief of his time concerning women by treating the female characters unequally and differently compared to the male characters in The Odyssey
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