This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Astounding Alteration Of Feminist Role In Homer’s The Odyssey

1515 words - 7 pages

Throughout history, gender discrimination has taken away countless lives of women, lowering the overall social status of women in society. For example, Salem witch trials, a series of unreasonably prosecution of women accused of witchcraft, in Massachusetts are an ancient example of gender discrimination towards women. The Odyssey by Homer exemplifies a modern vision of breaking free from the obsolete cultural expectations of the Greek society as well as the world, seeking for gender equality and demanding for a more egalitarian society. Despite the restrictions on the role of female in a typical patriarchal Greek society, Homer innovatively breaks the barrier that persistently favors males ...view middle of the document...

Penelope’s method helps keep her from remarrying one of the suitors, giving her the indirect control over her marriage which she is not supposed to have during these days in the ancient Greece. Penelope is aesthetic and brilliant “with her head full of pride to think how Athena had been generous to her beyond all others, given her skill in beautiful work and good intelligence and cleverness (18),” making herself an intriguing character besides the epic hero, Odysseus. Penelope never explicitly refuses to remarry; however, she tricks the suitors into believing that she may give up on her husband and marry to another man through the action of weaving the burial shroud. Near the end of the epic poem, when Penelope recognizes the beggar as possibly being her missing husband, Odysseus, she does not jump to the conclusion immediately, but instead, she lets her cunning tests reveal the mystery which also sets the stage for Odysseus’s’ grand return. “Whoever shall be able most easily to string the bow with his own hands, and shoot through the openings of twelve axes set in a line, he shall win me”, said Penelope to the suitors who are eager to complete the test (261). Indeed, Penelope already knows that no one can complete this test except for the original owner of the bow, Odysseus. This test is done to confirm Odysseus’ identity as well as for Penelope to manipulate the suitors who are competing to win Penelope’s heart. “Come, Eurycleia, make the bed outside the room which [Odysseus] built himself…”, said Penelope (286). After the archery contest, Penelope is confronted to Odysseus and asks for Eurycleia to move her bridal bed. Once again, Penelope is clever here when she knows that only Odysseus knows the secret origin of the bed. Needless to say, the beggar who id Odysseus in disguise does not move the bed and finally reveals his real identity to Penelope. Although Penelope’s role as a powerless wife in a patriarchal society is abated by the dominance of males; however that does not inhibit her from being an exceedingly clever and patient wife of the epic hero Odysseus and the loyal son Telemachos. Also, she demonstrates the exceptional qualities of female heroine by capably defeating those greedy suitors without appearing to do so.

Athena’s assistance not only abets Odysseus in urgent situations but also plays an important role in the character development of Odysseus. Despite Poseidon’s disagreement with her actions of helping Odysseus return to Ithaca, Athena persistently assists Odysseus, “nurturing” him to grow both physically and mentally, which mainly impacts the flux of the plot. Apparently, the epic hero Odysseus can be dean long ago without Athena’s assistance which impacts the plot positively when she rescues the epic hero in the most desperate situations. Athena’s first assistance from the very beginning of the poem has created an escape for Odysseus which sets the stage for the story to begin. “…let him announce forthwith to nymph...

Find Another Essay On The Astounding Alteration of Feminist Role in Homer’s The Odyssey

The Static Character in Homer’s Odyssey

1005 words - 4 pages The Static Character in Homer’s Odyssey The Odyssey, by Homer, translated by W.H.D. Rouse (between 900 and 700 BC.) is "The best story ever written" (7). This is a story about a man named Odysseus Laertiades who went off to war. After winning the war, he and his men were heading home when their ship got off track. They ended up in the land of the Cyclops. They were held captive by a god's, Poseidon Earthholder, son. Odysseus came up with a

Homer’s Odyssey and the Odyssey of Our Lives

1585 words - 6 pages Homer’s Odyssey and the Odyssey of Our Lives        Homer’s Odyssey is a magnificent mythological tale. This work was presumably created after his encounter with goddess Athena. Although Odysseus’ journey is filled with unrealistic adventures and mythical powers, some principles behind this story can relate to our everyday lives. Odysseus’ adventures in Odyssey relate to the heroism, intellect, and ruthlessness that are in our lives

Xenia and Hospitality in Homer’s epic The Odyssey

815 words - 3 pages “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:8-9). Hospitality can lead down a path of happiness and joy when ensued. In Homer’s epic The Odyssey, Xenia is an important factor in the foremost important character’s journey home. The role of xenia in the odyssey when followed can be very beneficial and when not followed, deadly. When abiding by

The Role of Penelope in The Odyssey

1123 words - 4 pages The Role of Penelope in The Odyssey The character of Penelope in Homer's Odyssey reflects the faithful wife who waits twenty years for the arrival of her husband. Only a strong woman could sustain the stress, anxiety and confusion resulting from the chaos of a palace with a missing king whose fate is unknown. Her responsibilities and commitments toward the man she loves are particularly difficult to keep, under the strain of the situation

The Role of Loyalty in The Odyssey

1112 words - 4 pages Ogygia and finally decides that he needs to be with his true love so he leaves her. QUOTE!!(Book 11) On the return of the legendary Odysseus, Penelope really does not believe what she sees and claims the figure standing in front of her is actually not the man of her life. QUOTE!!(Book 23) Gods played a great role back in ancient civilizations and still do so to a certain extent, just not as intensely. Today, we have many different gods and

The Role of Phaeacia in the Odyssey

1056 words - 4 pages The Role of Phaeacia in the Odyssey The episode with Phaeacia begins where Odysseus has been away from his home for twenty years, and is longing to return to Ithaca and Penelope. This book is very important and involves certain tests for Odysseus to come across. At the beginning of this book, we are told that the princess, Nausicaa, is described as “tall and beautiful as a goddess.” Alcinous as good as offers Odysseus

Role of Women in the Odyssey

729 words - 3 pages Role of Women in the OdysseyBy looking at Homer's Odyssey, we can begin to get an idea as to how the ancient Greeks regarded their women. Men treated them almost as though they were possessions and not people, and many times women had to resort to deception to accomplish their own goals and desires. By interpreting Homer's view of women, one can draw a bigger picture of the role of women in ancient Greek culture. In the Odyssey, we learn that

The Role of Penelope in Homer's Odyssey

1201 words - 5 pages   Odysseus's wife, Penelope plays a very important role in Homer's Odyssey.  She provides the motivation for Odysseus's return to Ithaca.  She is also the center of the plot involving the suitors and the fate of Telemakos and Ithaca itself.  The objective of this essay is to analyze the important role of Penelope in Odyssey.              Penelope is the reason for Odysseus's return to Ithaca.  He is driven throughout his entire journey to

Fate in Homer’s Odyssey

1252 words - 5 pages Humans, and sometimes immortals, blame gods for the ill fate of men until kleos is introduced to be a factor in the direction of fate, which leads to the realization by some that the individual’s intentions cause fate when given the ability to make their own choices. Humans and gods accuse dieties of causing bad luck in the beginning of the novel. When Odysseus meets Elpenor in the Underworld, the shade tells him: “‘Son of great Laertes

The Pursuit of Honor in Homer’s Iliad

1883 words - 8 pages The Pursuit of Honor in Homer’s Iliad Throughout history, people have pondered the question of human mortality. In examining the issue, the Ancient Greeks, came to the conclusion that there are two spheres of immortality: that which is reserved for the Gods and that which can be attained by mere mortals. The Gods are destined to eternal youth and life; however, for humans who are predestined to die, this existence is impossible to attain

The Role of the Gods in the Odyssey

1236 words - 5 pages have departed. In Homer’s Odyssey, both Odysseus and his son Telemachus embark on long, difficult journeys; Odysseus trying to return from Troy to his home in Ithaca, escaping Calypso and the island of Ogygia, and Telemachus from Ithaca to Pylos and Sparta in search of his lost father. While The Odyssey tells of the courage both men demonstrate during their respective travels, their quests are the results of the intentions and desires of gods

Similar Essays

The Role Of Women In Ancient Greece As Depicted In Homer’s The Odyssey

894 words - 4 pages The Role of Women in Ancient Greece as Depicted in Homer’s The Odyssey Women as Citizens For this informative report I will attempt to point out the roles women and how they are viewed in ancient Greece. I will then show how these views are present in Homer’s "The Odyssey." How are women, goddess or mortal, conveyed in "The Odyssey?" "The Odyssey" was written around 700 BC during the Archaic period (750 – 550 BC). This was a time of

A Comparison Of The Role Of Women In Homer’s Odyssey And Iliad

3409 words - 14 pages The Role of Women in Odyssey and The Iliad The Iliad and Odyssey present different ideals of women, and the goddesses, who are presented as ideal women, differ between the two epics. The difference in roles is largely dependent on power, and relations to men, as well as sexual desirability and activity. The goddesses have a major role in both epics as Helpers of men. They have varied reasons for this.  One is a maternal instinct. This

The Role Of Women In Homer’s Iliad

796 words - 3 pages The Role of Women in Homer’s Iliad Homer’s Iliad is undoubtedly focused on its male characters: Achilles, primarily, but also Hector and Agamemnon. Nevertheless, it seems that the most crucial characters in the epic are female. Homer uses the characters of Thetis, Andromache, and Helen as a basis for comparison to the male characters. Homer wants his audience to see and understand the folly of his male characters in choosing war over peace

The Realtionship Of A Father And Son In Homer’s Odyssey

1027 words - 4 pages such relationships in today’s culture. With the contrasting beliefs of gender roles and the emphasis on being somebody you may not truly be which is counted as a flaw of ancient Greece— not looking at the child, the son as an individual. The relationship of the son and the father is an overlying theme in Homer’s Odyssey. It is not only used as an allusion to portray the values of ancient Greece, but also plays a role in recognizing that