Women Portrayed in Homer’s The Odyssey
Women were very important to the Greeks, and they showed this value in many ways. In The Odyssey Homer shows us the different ways women were looked upon through female characters, such as Penelope, Naussica, and Anticlia.
With Penelope, a faithful and loving wife to Odysseus, Homer reveals to us how the Greeks believed wives should act. She was loyal to Odysseus the entire time he was away on his journey, and even when it appeared as if he had passed on she still had faith that he would return. She resisted the suitors on the sole basis that she loved Odysseus and could not see herself with another man when he could still be alive. She was smart, and cunning. She shows us this in Book II when we learn she has avoided having to choose a husband by telling the suitors she would choose one of them once she finished the garment she was weaving. She would work all day, and remove the stitches by candlelight while the suitors slept. Odysseus was "blessed in the possession of a wife endowed with such rare excellence of understanding, and so faithful to her wedded lord" (p.256). Penelope was the picture of a perfect, devoted Greek wife.
Homer also portrayed the loyal daughter type using Naussica, the young princess of Scheria and daughter of King Alcinous. Like most daughters from the Greek civilization, she thought the world of her parents, and they thought the world of her as well. We see that she thinks highly of her father because she refers to him as her "excellent father" and tells Odysseus about everything her father can give to him. Her father seems to be wrapped around her finger. I got this impression because when she asked if she could use a big wagon, her father immediately replied "You shall have the mules, my love, and whatever else you have a mind...