The Odyssey And Hymn Of Demeter Essay

The Odyssey And Hymn Of Demeter Essay

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In The Odyssey Book 5, Calypso explicitly likens herself to Demeter. She complains that while the male gods themselves are allowed to have mortal lovers, they hate seeing Goddesses like her and Demeter have affairs with mortals(Odyssey 5.128-60). However, Demeter in the Hymn to Demeter in fact more closely resembles Penelope than she resembles Calypso because both Penelope and Demeter love their family members and choose to challenge the authority in order to achieve family reunion, while Calypso submits to Zeus’s will and finally gives up having a family.
In The Odyssey and Hymn to Demeter, both Penelope and Demeter love and miss their family members. When Demeter hears her daughter Persephone’s cry, “a sharp grief took hold of Demeter in her heart, and she rushed like a bird over the nourishing land and sea searching” (Hymn to Demeter, 39-44). Demeter cares about her daughter. When she notices that Persephone is missing, she panics and immediately looks for her daughter everywhere on the earth. “For nine days, then, over the earth queenly Deo, roamed about, holding blazing torches in her hands, and she never tasted ambrosia or the sweet drink,nectar, as she grieved, nor did she wash her skin with water” (Hymn to Demeter, 47-50). Demeter is so grieved that she even forgets to eat and drink. The only thing she engages in is to find her daughter. Demeter’s tireless searching reflects a mother’s love and worry for her child. We can also find similar evidence that shows Penelope’s love to her husband in The Odyssey. At Odysseus’s house, when the people are listening a song about Troy War (Odyssey 1,379-362), Penelope cries out, “ Break off this song - the unendurable song that always rends the heart inside me… the unforgettable gri...


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...mpromises with Demeter and agrees that Persephone can return from the underworld for the two parts of the year (Hymn to
Demeter,461-465), while Penelope is eventually reunited with her husband.
Demeter and Penelope have similar experience. They go through the process from losing their family members to gaining them back at the end. Calypso also happens to lose her lover. However, she is easily suppressed by Zeus’s will and finally gives up her hope. The reason is that Calypso just treats Odysseus as a sex captive and does not truly love him. As we can see from Demeter and Penelope, true love can never be broken even under the pressure from the authority. Demeter and Penelope resemble with each other since both of them pay efforts in order to reunite with their family. The graven love to their family members motivate Demeter and Penelope to challenge the authority.

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