An analysis of female characters in the odyssey by homer

In this paper, using the Odyssey as a case study, I will examine the thematic importance of the decisions taken by a hero in accordance to or defiance of self control and pietas and the consequences they lead to. These expectations are clearly marked out for the reader who waits in anticipation to garner the fate of the hero. I will analyse the themes of self control and pietas or duty in the Odyssey and discuss their special significance in this epic.

An analysis of female characters in the odyssey by homer

Wednesday, March 9, The Women of the Odyssey, part one In Homer's The Iliad, the stories of men's exploits in battle almost entirely eclipse the possibility of women as significant characters. Don't get me wrong: Without Helen, we might not have a Trojan War at all. We empathize with Hector the Trojan partly because we see the pain of Andromache.

We understand Achilles's growth partly because we know about his relationship with Briseis. But the women's presence in the story is to help us understand the men, not to explore female perspectives or understandings.

The Odyssey, on the other hand, puts women in very different kinds of roles. First we have Athena, goddess of wisdom, a female god who sees herself as the parallel to Odysseus. She is the divinity who mirrors his sense of trickery and cleverness.

As Athena says to him in the Lombardo translation"You wily bastard, you cunning. Now I've come here, ready to weave a plan with you. She assists him because he is her reflection. For the reader, Odysseus and his adventures become a kind of stand-in for a female god's adventures--or perhaps a reader will see it the opposite way.

This narrative trick might expand the ability of a female audience member to identify with a male character--a cross-gender identification that many modern readers hesitate to do. Penelope, too, is a mirror image of Odysseus. Although she is faithful when he is not--over and over, both literally and theoretically--Penelope is just as capable of trickery and deceit as her husband.

Almost as well known as Odysseus's trick of the Trojan Horse is Penelope's trick of weaving a funeral shroud.

“Odyssey” Essay Topics About Women Characters Penelope Wife of Odysseus and mother of their son, Telemachus, she is shrewd and faithful in fending off the suitors. Telemachus Son of Odysseus and Penelope, the prince struggles to gain his own maturity while attempting to deal with the problems of the palace.
“Odyssey” Topics to Write about: Ancient Greek Culture One of Athena's disguises. Poseidon A sea god who holds a longstanding grudge against Odysseus for blinding his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus.
The Women of the Odyssey How to Write a Summary of an Article?

Her cleverness extends through other examples as well, such as her offer of an unavailable bed to the man who claims to be her husband--an offer only Odysseus will recognize as a false one.

How Penelope makes sense of Odysseus's long absence and eventual return is in direct contrast to the story of Clytemnestra--a story I'll be discussing more when I get to the Greek dramatists coming up soon. But Homer refers enough to the story.

While Agamemnon is away at war, his wife Clytemnestra takes a lover. She then murders her husband when he eventually returns from the battlefields of Troy. Ironically, it is her dishonesty--her ability to be dissembling--that allows her to maintain her devotion to her husband.

What a fascinating portrayal Homer gives us! The idea that lying allows faithfulness is one I suspect we'll see again and again as we go through the canon. I want to be impressed with Homer's literary playfulness, this pre-feminist exploration of alternatives, perhaps this proto-feminist analysis of choices.

An analysis of female characters in the odyssey by homer

But I am not happy. Instead I find myself wishing that Penelope and Athena would abandon this jerk Odysseus instead of seeing themselves reflected in him. I wish they would connect themselves to what we moderns mean by "hero":THE PORTRAYAL OF WOMEN IN THE ILIAD Greek camp provided only a limited scope for presenting female characters.

3 But Homer made full use of the scenes in Troy for this purpose. The Odyssey. Analysis Of Athena In The Odyssey English Literature Essay. Print Reference this. Disclaimer: This is the role of Athena in Homer’s epic “The Odyssey”. In this essay I will analyze Athena’s major role of protection and guidance throughout the epic, and how her use of disguise and transformation affects their motivation and choices.

Summary: Analyzes the female characters of The Odyssey, by Homer. Categorizes three types of women in the Greek epic, goddess, good housewife and seducer. Describes how each character affects the balance of good and evil in the story.

How to Cite

The nature of women in The Odyssey . Taking Her Seriously is a reevaluation of Penelope, one of the most universally admired female characters in Western classical literature.

Casting her in a new light, Richard Heitman emphasizes the courage, steadfastness, and integrity of this iconic figure while facing potentially tragic decisions.

By observing the many female characters in The Odyssey, for example; Penelope, Circe, and Calypso, we are able to understand that back then women were inferior to men yet they had power in that they were able to draw men in so quickly and easily (for example sirens, they sing so beautifully that men get drawn in from lust for these things with such beautifull voices, but the sirens are killers.

Odysseus: Character Profiles, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.

Download The Distaff Side Representing The Female In Homer S Odyssey PDF – PDF Search Engine