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. During the course of his journey, Odysseus meets three different women who want him to be their husband: Circe, Calypso, Nausicca, and finally one woman who is his true wife: Penelope. Each of these women has a profound effect on Odysseus journey home. Yet, even though these women are much more powerful than ordinary Greek women are they still carry some semblance of the "good female" in Greek society.
Circe, though not the first female we meet in Odyssey, is the first woman Odysseus meets on his journey home from the Trojan War. She is no ordinary woman! She is not kept separate from men outside of her oikos as proper women are supposed to be (Pomeroy 21). Good Greek women are to be chaperoned by a male member of their oikos whenever they are in the presence of strange men. "The visitor to the Greek house would meet only the male members of the family; when strangers were in the house t...
... middle of paper ...
...r husband and they all attempt to accomplish this in different ways. It is interesting to see that even though there are numerous men in the story the women seem to weld power over Odysseus' journey: holding him hostage or letting him go according to the various women. The fact that all the women are depicted as slightly evil (save Penelope, of course) seems to give evidence to the fact that Greek men are wary of the power of unconfined, unchaperoned women.
Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York: 1996
Kebric, R.B. Greek People. 2nd ed. London: 1997.
Pomeroy, S.B. Families in Classical and Hellenistic Greece. New York: 1997.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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.... [tags: Papers Odyssey Homer Essays]
685 words (2 pages)
- The Role of Women in Homer's Odyssey "Homer's Odyssey is the product of a society in which men played the dominant role"(Pomeroy 22). Throughout history, women have retained a submissive role in society. For the longest time, society itself was organized and directed by men, and all of the most important enterprises were those that men implemented. Women participated in the affairs of the world only when they had the permission of the men who directed their lives. The literature of a of masculine society, of which Homer's Odyssey is an excellent example, aptly illustrates these social conventions.... [tags: Homer, Odyssey Essays]
936 words (2.7 pages)
- The Treatment of Women in Homer's Odyssey Judged by modern Western standards, the treatment of women by men in Homer's Odyssey can be characterized as sexist. Women in Homer's Odyssey are judged mainly by their looks. If important men and gods consider a woman beautiful, or if her son or husband is a hero or has an important position such as king, the woman is successful. The way women in The Odyssey are treated is based on appearance, the things men want from them, and whether the woman has any power over men.... [tags: Homer Odyssey womody]
882 words (2.5 pages)
- The Portrayal of Women in Homer's Odyssey In the first section of Odyssey, mortal women are presented to us as controlled by the stereotypes and expectations of the culture of the day, and it is only within that context that we can consider the examples Homer provides of women to be admired or despised. He provides us with clear contrasts, between Penelope and Eurycleia on the one hand, and Helen and Clytemnaestra on the other. In Penelope’s case, it is made clear that her freedom of action is strictly controlled.... [tags: Homer Odyssey womody]
704 words (2 pages)
- The Odyssey: Portrayal of Women How does Homer portray women in the epic, The Odyssey? In order to answer this question you must look at woman and goddesses as two separate groups of "people". This is because they are portrayed in tow separate ways. You see, a regular woman like Penelope is looked at as beautiful but has very few rights. If we first look at Penelope we see how beautiful she must be, because we know that she has a lot of suitors staying at her house and they all want to marry her. It is not until later on that we find out how low in society mortal women are. The first time this is shown is when Telemukus has to choose one of the suitors to be his mother... [tags: Homer Odyssey womody]
451 words (1.3 pages)
- 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. During the course of his journey, Odysseus meets three different women who want him to be their husband: Circe, Calypso, Nausicca, and finally one woman who is his true wife: Penelope.... [tags: Homer The Odyssey Essays]
1328 words (3.8 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Homer Odyssey womody]
512 words (1.5 pages)
- 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), a... [tags: Homer, Odyssey Essays]
1893 words (5.4 pages)
- Does Homer exhibit gender bias in the Odyssey? Is the nature of woman as depicted in the Odyssey in any way revealing. Upon examining the text of the Odyssey for differential treatment on men and women, it becomes necessary to distinguish between three possible conclusions. One, differences in treatment reflect the underlying Homeric thesis that women are "different but equal in nature," Two, different treatment of men and women in the text reflect a thesis that women are "different and unequal in nature" -- arguments about misogyny fall in here but a host of other interpretive possibilities are possible too.... [tags: The Odyssey by Homer]
1828 words (5.2 pages)
- The Powerful Women of Homer’s Odyssey There is really no way to generalize the women in Homer’s Odyssey because they all have their own distinct traits that make each of them great, strong, and powerful women. A very powerful woman is Arete. She is as powerful as the king, Alcinous. Her daughter Nausicaa is an amazing woman, even though she is so young. She displays great intelligence in handling Odysseus. These women I speak of above are great women in a good sort of way but there are also some very bad women that still have some amazing qualities.... [tags: Homer Odyssey Essays]
1806 words (5.2 pages)