The Significant Role Of Women In Homer's Odyssey

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Professor Smith explains the evolutions the Odyssey has undergone to become a written text, the significant impact that Homer had on the Romans, and a novel theme that appears throughout the Odyssey. The Odyssey has undergone numerous transitions in order to become the text that it is today. The Odyssey originated from an oral culture, meaning that messages and stories were verbally communicated in the form of speech or songs. Originally, rhapsodes would perform a group of songs and create a story by connecting them together. The Odyssey is one example of the works rhapsodes would perform. Usually, there was one rhapsode who would excel in performing from the others. Unfortunately, after many generations, these songs would slowly degrade, which concerned Pisistratus, the ruler of Greece during 6th century BCE. Pisistratus decided to record the best performance of the Odyssey at the annual festival. This was the first time the Odyssey was written down. During the 3rd century BCE, Livius Andronicus translated the…show more content…
Voices of women represent a threat to masculinity in the Odyssey and sadly men’s attempt to silence women remains futile. In the Odyssey, women were seen as seductive, promising, and pleasurable. However, men remain defenseless against women. For example, Helen, prevents Menelaus from giving a response during a conversation. Menelaus expressed his erotic desire for Odysseus. After hearing this, Helen decided to drug Menelaus’ drink and tells him stories about her experiences with Odysseus. As a result, Menelaus ends up having to listen to his wife talk about another man because his is intoxicated. In addition, Circe turned Odysseus’ men into animals, causing them to lose their human voice and squeal like pigs. The men could not defend themselves against Circe and remained as pigs, until Odysseus yielded to Circe’s demands. Helen and Circe clearly demonstrate the strengths women

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