The ability of women to influence the course of events in Iliad and Odyssey
Women have always been an important part of human history since it began. The Greek Myths also show how women, though not as powerful as men, have been able to cause great changes to the course of events. The Trojan of war is one glorified example of it where because of one woman thousands of soldiers died. I would like to talk about such women from the readings that we have done in this course. I shall be talking about Helen of Troy, Kalypso, Circe, Nausicaa and Penelope to show how mortals and immortals have powers of sort but are still inferior to men.
We shall talk about the characters from the epic poems Iliad and Odyssey, so I shall give a brief background of the poems. Iliad is an epic that recounts what happened in the last year or so of the Trojan War. The Odyssey talks about the returning soldiers from the Trojan War. The Odyssey is about the Greek Hero Odysseus and it mainly revolves around his life. Odyssey is a sequel to Iliad and both the poems are attributed to Homer. It has some very well illustrated characters. The women in this epic are also very well portrayed and are given as much importance as the soldiers and the heroes.
Helen is the wife of king Menelaus of Spain and due to her abduction by Paris the Trojan War had happened. She herself had nothing to do with the war and she also regrets the fact that she ever ran away with him. She is very beautiful and could attract any men on the face of the earth and due to her mere outbursts of attraction for another man caused her to flee away with him. She just let Paris lead her and guide her through while she just sat watching one of mankind’s most brutal war breakout.
We can see that Helen herself has a very little role to play but still her beauty itself is enough to start up a whole war. She was able to empower men with her beauty and that is why she is such a powerful character. She was also able to runaway with another man and this in Homeric time was unacceptable but she still does it.
Kalypso was the daughter of Atlas and she was a seam nymph in Greek mythology. She, with her powers, empowers Odysseus and enslaves him as she wanted him to marry her. She was able to do so even though Odysseus was much powerful than her. Odysseus loved his wife too much and wanted to go back to her but was not able to do so. Until Athena asks Zeus to free him from the island and let him get back to his beloved wife Penelope. Kalypso only lets Odysseus go when Hermes, messenger of Gods, comes down on Zeus request and tells Kalypso to release him. He finally goes back to his wife after seven years of imprisonment.
This shows us that though Kalypso was not a goddess nor as powerful as Odysseus, she was still able to hold him back for seven years. It is also surprising that she was able to confess her love and her desire to have Odysseus for herself. It is also interesting to see that Kalypso is obedient enough...