Role of Women in the Odyssey

Role of Women in the Odyssey

Thesis Statement:Three stereotypes about females portrayed in the Odyssey by diffrent female characters.

Table Of Contents

  • Intro: General description of the function of females in Ancient Greece
  • The way the bad and ill-mannered ladies are portrayed in the poem
  • How the seductresses and their powers are shown
  • Characters representing good and faithful women
  • Conclusion: The function of various women enters the Odyssey and their relation to the stereotypes of the age

The Function of Women in The Odyssey The Odyssey, by Homer, is an epic poem based upon the story of an ancient Greek hero, Odysseus, and his twenty year journey– 10 years invested battling in the Trojan War and the other ten spent traveling house. In the poem, Homer provides the theme of the function and nature of females. Guy were the dominant gender in ancient Greece, and women, who were inferior, were only valued for their charm and their ability to replicate. Nevertheless, in this poem, Homer both exemplifies and defies those standards by providing particular female characters with qualities that reveal the various stereotypes in ancient Greek society.

Females In The Odyssey

Through several of the female characters, Homer portrays ladies in 3 various methods. The first kind of female is the bad, disloyal lady, such as Cyltemnestra and Melantho the maidservant. Other females are portrayed as the manipulative seductress, such as Calypso and Circe. The 3rd kind of ladies is the great, faithful, smart woman. These women include characters such as Queen Arete, Nausicaa and, above all, Odysseus’ better half Penelope. Homer uses these characters to depict the several methods which females were viewed by society. The very first kind of female, the bad, disrespectful woman is represented through 2 characters.

Clytemnestra is the unfaithful better half of Agamemnon, and Melantho, is the disloyal maidservant of Penelope. The story of Clytemnestra is repeated numerous times throughout the poem. When Odysseus travels to the underworld, the Kingdom of the Dead, he meets Agamemnon, the dead hubby of Clytemnestra. He is describing his story to Odysseus when he states,

Homer 11. 81-487

Clytemnestra is referred to as a monster, and a woman without any heart, due to the fact that of her ability to eliminate her own spouse for her own great. Melantho the maidservant similarly is portrayed as a monster. On several occasions, she mocks Odysseus, ignores Queen Penelope, and likewise disrespects her by having an affair with among Penelope’s suitors. As a result of her harsh actions, when Odysseus returns, she is killed in addition to the rest of the suitors. This exemplifies how ladies who act by doing this in ancient Greek society are dealt with and dealt with.

In addition to Clytemnestra and Melantho, there are two other females who represent the bad female. Calypso and Circe are the evil and manipulative seductresses. Odysseus arrives to Calypso’s island and is held captive by her for practically seven years. When Odysseus finally recognizes that he requires to leave, she tries to bribe him by giving him immortality if he will stay and live with her permanently. She compares herself to Odysseus’ partner Penelope when she says,

I simply may claim to be absolutely nothing less than she, neither in face nor figure. Barely right, is it, for mortal woman to rival never-ceasing goddess?How, in develop? In charm?

Homer 5. 233-236

Calypso Character

Calypso tries to convince Odysseus that his other half can not compare to her since of her charm and build as a goddess. She does not see love past charm and does not comprehend the type of love that Odysseus and Penelope share. She tries to utilize her powers to control him and get her way, nevertheless she stops working to do so. Another example of a seductress in the poem is Circe. Circe brings in Odysseus and his guys by her beautiful singing voice. The guys’s desire for her permits her to take advantage of the weak males and turn them into swine.

Circe is also able to seduce Odysseus so much that he also ends up staying there with her for a year without even knowing it. Circe represents not just an evil seductress, however a powerful sorceress who serves as a danger to Odysseus and his guys. Homer’s representation of both Calypso and Circe as the seductresses is to reveal that some ladies’s appeal and seducing ways can be a risk or threat to males. Although Odysseus is a smart and amusing man, even he found himself caught in the hands of these two seductresses because of their appealing, manipulative ways.

In contrast to all of these females, the most substantial type of woman in ancient Greek society that is portrayed in the poem is the good, smart and devoted female. Among the mortal ladies in the poem, a few who represent this kind of female are Queen Arete, Nausicaa, and Penelope. Queen Arete and Nausicaa are really useful to Odysseus when he arrives to their land. Nausicaa finds him and guides him to discover his way to Queen Arete and King Alcinous. As soon as he finds his way there, Queen Arete is very hospitable, and she helps him discover his way home to Ithaca.

Penelope Character

Penelope, nevertheless, is the most substantial female character in The Odyssey. Through her actions, she shows to be a really sensible and smart lady. She continuously stays faithful to her spouse for twenty years of his lack. Over the whole duration of Odysseus’ absence, she leads the suitors on by developing strategies to keep them there, continues to get gifts, and gains wealth while she waits for her partner’s return. Even after his return, she is wise enough to be mindful and test him to be sure that he is really her husband.

Pertinent Subjects Readers Also Select

  • Lessons From The Odyssey

After this all happens, she becomes well-known for her knowledge, intelligence, and cleverness. When Agamemnon is speaking with one of the suitors in the Land of the Dead, he says,

what a fine, faithful other half [Odysseus] won! What good sense lived in [his] Penelope– … The popularity of her terrific virtue will never pass away. The never-ceasing gods will lift a tune for all humanity, a remarkable song in appreciation of self-possessed Penelope

Homer 24. 212-218

Homer utilizes Penelope’s character as a way to show how women like her are viewed by society. Through her actions, she is depicted as a faithful better half, and she also obtains qualities comparable to the seductresses. Despite the fact that she is smart and manipulative with the suitors, she is still considered a good, devoted woman since her wit and cleverness is viewed in a positive method. The gods praise and applaud her for her wisdom and virtue. She is among the only women who are able to defy the standard that all females are inferior. Homer provides this variety of females to depict the various types of stereotypes in ancient Greek society.

The first stereotype is the unfaithful, disloyal female, which is represented by the characters Clytemnestra and Melantho. The second stereotype is the manipulative temptress, represented by Calypso and Circe. The 3rd stereotype is the smart, intelligent, and devoted female represented by Arete, Nausicaa, and Penelope. Females during this time are thought about the inferior gender and are anticipated to follow the social standards and stereotypes that society has positioned upon them. Homer utilizes a number of female characters in The Odyssey to portray both the females who exemplify this requirement, and the ladies who defy this standard.