Odyssey Gender Roles

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The Penelopiad tells its story in a different time period from the Odyssey as it comes from Penelope looking backward through centuries from today back to the classical Greek period. I think Atwood’s intention is to highlight how attitudes towards women have changed over the centuries. She uses the pyschology of sexual abuse to explain the maid’s behaviour. “ if our owners or the sons of our owners or a visiting nobleman or the sons of a visiting nobleman wanted to sleep with us, we could not refuse. It did us no good to weep, it did us no good to say we were in pain . All this happened when we were children” “As we grew older we became polished…We swayed our hips, we winked, we signalled with our eyebrows, even when we were children” (M.Atwood.14)…show more content…
In the Odyssey Odysseus is the main voice in the epic poem, as in ancient Greek times men were considered the dominant gender. This meant that Odysseus was treated as a hero and was seen as a role model for all mens’ behviour. The inequality of the gender roles in the Odyssey meant that Odysseus was seen as more powerful and of more imporatant than any woman. An example of male heroic dominance is when Odysseus murders all of the suitors who wanted to marry Penelope. Odysseus is a homeric leader and shows strength, courage and is always confident in his authority. He is portryaed as smart with an ability to think quickly which is how he was able to get himself out of tough situations. In book 9 Odysseus escapes from the cave of the cyclops which is an example of where he needed to use his sharp intellect. Odysseus is also a very plausible speaker which means he is able to easily deceive his audience. Along with these traits Odysseus is also shown as an admirable king (p.63) and noble (p.68). He was also portrayed as a man who could never do anything wrong as what he was doing was set for him by the gods. The reason he was shown this way was because entertainment in ancient greece was a way to inform the greek people – through story telling. The ability to tell a great story was highly valued. The stories were written by men, for

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