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"The Most Powerful Characters In The Odyssey Are Women." Argue For Or Against This Proposition Using Examples From The Text; Please Limit Evidence To Two Or Three Episodes Only.

1179 words - 5 pages

"The most powerful characters in The Odyssey are women." Argue for or against this proposition using examples from the text; please limit evidence to two or three episodes only.The word powerful can be looked at in several ways; it can be regarded as strength, knowledge, control, and beauty. All these forms of power are repeatedly illustrated within The Odyssey. A key observation with respect to power is that women are undoubtedly the most powerful characters in The Odyssey. Their characteristics parallel many of aforementioned definitions of power. Athena is a key example of a woman that is ultimately the personification of power. Furthermore, Circe possesses many traits that would unquestionably classify her as extremely powerful as well. This essay will evaluate these women with respect to their power and influence within the story to convey that women are essentially the most powerful characters in the Odyssey.Athena, the goddess of wisdom, plays an important role in showing that women are the most powerful characters within The Odyssey. She plays an important role in the formulation of the plot, and is not your typical Greek goddess. She is beautiful, and intelligent, but shows a difference from other Greek gods, as she helps people rather than hurts them. The power that she has is untouchable, as no one else in the poem is capable of carrying out the role she played. She literally puts the story together, and right from the very beginning of this poem, it is evident that she is the definition of power.Athena is practicly mentioned in every book, but the episode where she is most powerful would be right in the beginning of this epic poem when she pleads with her father Zeus, the king of gods, for Odysseus to be freed from his captivity. Zeus agrees with her and allows Athena to go to Ithaca to help Odysseus' son Telemachus with the suitors. This shows the power Athena has, because it is very difficult to get persuade Zeus. Athena was able to do so, showing her power of persuasion. This is just the beginning of her showcase of power. Athena goes to see Telemachus, who does recongnize her and she does not tell him that she is a god. She informs him of his father being alive and motivates him by prophesizing his return and punishment to the suitors. She is able to motivate Telemachus without him knowing that she is a god. Showing us that it is not just the fact that she is a god that she has power, she is capable of being powerful without people listening to her just because she is a god. Also, she gives Telemachus the courage he needs, by telling him to grow up and leave his childhood behind. She is trying to make a man out of him, and is doing so, by giving him the courage he needs. Her keeping Telemachus motivated demonstrates the controlling factor of her power. She gives him courage by telling him she will be loyal to him, and helped him set up a ship and help him sail it as well. Her power comes from her being able to motivate others and...

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