Women's Role In The Odyssey

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The role women play is important to our society. They help us, care for us, and are just as important as men. However in the Odyssey, the role of women are different. Homer suggests that women’s role are different than men, and that the idea of independence for them is peculiar and unusual. In fact, the portrayal of Circe, the Sirens, Penelope, and Athena suggest that women’s views were to help and care for us, but they were not as important as men. Even today, this problem lingers within our own society. To begin with, Circe is portrayed as an evil woman because she shows her superiority over men by trying to control them. To quote “she flew after them with her long stick and shut them in a pigsty - bodies voices, heads, and bristle, all swinish now” (X 263-265). By turning…show more content…
Athena the Goddess who helps Odysseus is seen as good because of the wisdom and guidance she gives to Odysseus in order to aid him. To quote: “O mentor, join me in the fight! Remember how all my life I’ve been devoted to you friend of my youth! For he guessed, it was Athena, hope of soldiers.” (XXII 230-235). Odysseus’ plea for help shows that the mentor or Athena has helped him in the past. Odysseus can rely on her to help him again. Homer portrays her as good because she uses her wisdom to serve the men and aid them. Like Athena, Penelope’s loyalness to Odysseus is the reason why she is portrayed as good. When faced “I am stunned, child. I cannot speak to him. I cannot question him. I cannot keep my eyes upon his face. If really he is Odysseus, truly him, beyond all doubt we two shall know each other better than you or anyone. There are secret signs we know, we two.” (XXIII 204-208). Penelope will not blindly accept Odysseus. Because of her true faithfulness to Odysseus, she tests him with a secret only they would know. Homer portrays this as good because Penelope’s faith to Odysseus is very

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