The Role of Women in Homer's The Odyssey Essay

The Role of Women in Homer's The Odyssey Essay

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The Role of Women in Homer's The Odyssey


Women form an important part of the folk epic, written by Homer, The Odyssey. Within the story there are three basic types of women: the goddess, the seductress, and the good hostess/wife. Each role adds a different element and is essential to the telling of the story.

The role of the goddess is one of a supernatural being, but more importantly one in a position to pity and help mortals. Athena, the goddess of wisdom, is the most prominent example of the role; in the very beginning of the story she is seen making a plea for Odysseus' return home, and throughout the first half of the book she assists him in his journey. She is the driving force behind arranging Odysseus' return home from getting Kalypso to release him to making sure Nausikaa found him on Skheria. In books 1-4 she helps Telemakhos, Odysseus' son, gather the courage to go out and get news about his father. Other than Athena, there are many examples of goddesses taking pity on a mortal, usually Odysseus, and helping him out. When Odysseus is s...

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