An Unequal Distribution Of Power In Homer's Odyssey

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In a dark period that dates back to 1200-750 B.C.E., there is no writing in history other than two epic poems, one of which is the Odyssey. The Odyssey was written approximately 10 years after the Trojan War in 850 BC. It is believed the author of this epic poem is Homer, but there is a possibility that "Homer" is a combination of various different writers. Although Greek Mythology is categorized as fiction in modern day, the stories were factual for the ancient Greeks. The Odyssey is a story of Odysseus, a super human Ithacan hero. In spite of Odysseus’ mere mortal status, he is favored by most of the Greek gods. He is resourceful and saves his people with his cunning personality. The Odyssey, a collection of 24 books, is not only about…show more content…
Zeus, the King of gods, was at the top; all other gods and goddesses must follow his commands. When delivering a message to Circe, Hermes says, "It was Zeus who made me come, no choice of mine" (5,111). With this structure, the Greeks predict there is control in the amount of power each god has. The Greek society in the Odyssey attempted to create a similar social structure in order to have control over the amount of power each human has. In the Odyssey, although Odysseus is usually depicted as being more capable than his men, he is – at time – equally dependent on them as they are on him. Below the gods in social ranking are the mortal heroes, like Odysseus. Odysseus is valued by many of the Greek gods. He has heroic qualities that normal humans do not. He is resourceful, cunning, and a good leader. Odysseus came up with the idea of a Trojan horse. He has, in many situations, saved his men when they steered in the wrong direction. Odysseus uses his cunning ways to save his men and himself in life threating situations or sometimes to even test his family and the gods. He blinds Polyphemus (Book 5), disguises himself as a beggar (Book 16), conceals his identity in front of Athena (Book 13), and many more. Although Odysseus has flaws, he is a great leader and leaders were highly valued by Greeks. When Odysseus is in Circe’s palace and is offered food by her, he says: (10, 423-428)…show more content…
Below the heroes and men, in the ancient Greek social structure, are mortal women; they do not have a huge role in Greek society. Women are supposed to stay home while their fathers, husbands, and brothers go off to work or war. In the unpredictable world Greeks live in, women staying home and cooking is one thing that is predictable, unchanged, and constant. This is a Greek attempt to maintain order. While Odysseus was a war, Penelope, his wife, did not move on and remarry: "How I long for my husband--alive in memories, always" (1, 393). She waited long, painful year for him to come back. "She fell weeping for Odysseus, her beloved husband" (1,418). Ancient Greek societies in the Odyssey show women as weak and emotional. Odysseus' mother was mourning, like Penelope, until she could not any more and died from longing to see him. A woman’s preset and fixed responsibility in Greek society is to stay home and to provide for your family. Greeks are firm believers of predetermined fate and

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