Roles Of Women In The Odyssey

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Women in ancient myths and folktales often play a key part that sheds much light on to their male counterparts. Though these epic tales were written in the midst of what we understand today to be a patriarchal day and age, the role of women is as important as their male counterparts. Even though this isnt as clearly established as it is today, it can be understood that there was a vague inkling or understanding of it in these ancient times. From reading these texts one can assume that only dangerous and powerful women are relevant to the plots in their respective epics, for example The Odyssey. After really immersing the mind into these texts however one can begin to understand that even women who don’t assume these dark twisted roles such as Siren or Calypso, that humbly meek women also…show more content…
Though he’s been gone for decades Penelope remained resilient in her efforts to remain as his estranged spouse. All the while Odysseus had been plagued by the likes of many female antagonists, Penelope remained a white dove wishing for death rather than to live in the anguish of being alone. "How I wish chaste Artemis would give me a death so soft, and now, so I would not go on in my heart grieving all my life, and longing for love of a husband excellent in every virtue" (18.202-204). Though death is an ultimatum, in this case the ultimatum is clearly Penelope’s devotion to Odysseus. Through this boundless attachment it’s evident that Penelope does indeed have a voice throughout the course of the story. A similar, boundlessly devoted spouse is Sita from The Ramayana. Rama, a plagued king who had all he truly valued taken from him, fights for his devoted wife who remains true to him even after being abducted by the demon king Ravana. Sita remains loyal to Rama even though she knows of his banishment. After being trapped in Lanka for months the confrontation she eventually faces forces her to denounce and protest Ravana’s wishes. Rama who finally
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