Odysseus's wife, Penelope plays a crucial role in Homer's ‘The Odyssey’, with not only providing the motivation for Odysseus's return to Ithaca, but she is also the center of the plot involving the suitors and the fate of Telemakos and Ithaca itself. Therefore the objective of this essay is to analyze the importance of Penelope’s role in ‘The Odyssey’.
Although, Odysseus has compared the goddess and Penelope his longing to go home has not changed, “Yet, it is true, each day I long for home, long for the sight of home” (line 228-229). Through Odysseus’ journey, he does not forget home. He knows more tasks are ahead and he is ready to face them, “If any god has marked me out again for shipwrecked, my tough heart can undergo it. What hardship have I not long since endured at sea, in battle! Let the trial come.” This heroic ending grasp the readers’ attention to see that Odysseus is willing to do whatever it takes to go home to Penelope. The love he has for his home land shows his determination and dedication.
While traditional readers of Homer’s, The Odyssey, view Odysseus as a hero, they often reduce Penelope to Odysseus’s helpless wife, but Penelope is more than just a damsel-in-distress. Penelope proves to be Odysseus’s heroic equal, as through her resilient, witty and strategic actions she ensures Odysseus fighting advantages over the suitors.
Penelope serves as one of the most crucial characters within the Odyssey. She one of the few driving forces for our main protagonist’s journey home and she is also an exemplar model of female character breaking the mold of the damsel in distress. She actually takes it upon herself to take command, to some extent, of her own situation while her husband is presumably making his way back home from war. Penelope even matches Odysseus in craftiness and sly personality. For example, Penelope had told the suitors that she would assume a new husband after she was done weaving a shroud, but she would secretly unweave her progress every night. This behavior is a reoccurring theme. Penelope sets up other tests, such as having to shoot an arrow through
The role of women in Greek literature has demoralized them and showing them in a maligned light. The women are portrayed as frail, cruel, insensitive, or as seductresses. These characteristics have been integrated into today’s society and [have] built the standards and defined the moral outlook of women. However, in Greek mythology, powerful and strong women are not as well celebrated, such as Athena. Homer’s The Odyssey construes the positive and negative role of women through the epic poem. The women in the poem are depicted through the contrasting actions of Penelope and the maids, in addition with the opposite personalities between the goddess Athena and the nymph Calypso.
One would be less likely to be influenced by emotions in such a way as Odysseus when surrounded by the loving warmth of home. However, Odysseus has not been exposed to Penelope, his home, in twenty years, causing immense distraught and confusion. The change of gender from a powerful male figure to a weeping widow is the works of a feministic point of view. Odysseus is known to the public as a strong, brutal, and fearless man. Transforming him into a female character allows the portrayal of women on an equal ground to that of men. Women are as capable as men. Strength and honorability is not affected by
To begin, Penelope thinks of Odysseus and immediately lets her emotions out: “Odysseus—if he could return to tend my life / the renown I had would only grow in glory. / Now my life is torment … / look at the griefs some god has loosed against me!” (The Odyssey, 18.285-288). Furthermore, Homer expresses Penelope’s sadness by making her sink “on her well-built chamber’s floor” and through her “sobbing uncontrollably” (The Odyssey, 4.810-813). Clearly in Penelope’s mind, Odysseus’ absence is not something she can easily forget. Homer introduces Penelope as a very caring and devoted wife.
Penelope, just as Odysseus, portrayed the great human trait of patience. She did what it took to fend off the suitors with hope that her husband would come back for her. Penelope didn’t give up hope because she felt in heart that Odysseus would come
Sophocles’ Theban tragedy, Oedipus the King, is not sexist. The prominent play portrays both men and women justly. The events presented by Sophocles exemplifies a level of admiration and respect for women that was not ordinary in ancient Greece. This is predominantly achieved through the dialogue of Jocasta and Oedipus, illustrating a corresponding relationship. In addition, the behavior of Jocasta, analysis of other literature, as well as the bad fortune of the male characters reaffirm that the Oedipus the King is not sexist.
After Odysseus becomes enraged when Penelope asks the maid to make his bed outside, she realizes that he knows the secret that only Odysseus and her share. She embraces him and praises his homecoming. Once again, Penelope is wise and patient in her decision-making. The suitors pursued her, overtook her home and aggressively pushed her to remarry as she was supposed to. If Penelope would have given in, The Odyssey would not have ended with Odysseus returning to a loyal home. Through cunning, independence and loyalty, Penelope is able to create a positive image as a woman. Chaucer’s Wife of Bath has similar independence and cunning, but she makes her name as a domineering lady that chooses who she wants, and when she wants them.
Furthermore, Penelope is an important character as her identity “functions as a stable and unchanging reference point for the adventures of Odysseus” (Katz, 6). As Katz explains, Odysseus’ travels are interwoven with his lust for home and his desire to be with his wife again. As well, her identity becomes a parallel to Odysseus’ identity through her use of polutropus (tricks and turns). She proves, by the end of the poem, that she is the perfect match for Odysseus as both of them share the same skills with rhetoric and language to get what they want. Their like-mindedness is evident during the recognition scene between the two. Penelope tests Odysseus’ knowledge of their marital bed - before blindly trusting his claim of identity - by asking the slaves to move their immovable bed: “[putting] her husband to the proof-but Odysseus/ blazed in fury, lashed out at his loyal wife” (Homer, 23.203-204). In his angry response to Penelope’s test, Odysseus proves his identity to his wife as he explains why the bed cannot move. When she hears their familiar story of the creation of their bed, - which only the two and a slave know about - Penelope submits to her long-lost husband in an emotional reunion. Her caution, before accepting Odysseus’ claim, shows the wary protectionism stance that she had to adopt while her husband was gone so she could protect the kingdom from the suitors.
Brains over brawn, who will win this battle?Homer's tale of Odysseus' adventures in “The Odyssey” show that being intelligent and cunning can be far better than having physical strength. Being physically strong certainly has its advantages, but not in all circumstances. Strength in intelligence shows new meaning of strength. Odysseus is amused with himself when he defeats Polyphemus. His great skills with a bow outweigh the others abilities. Knowledge of the placement of his bed win his beloveds heart.
There are many facets of personality of a minor character that authors may utilize to supply contrast to the main character of their work. Some of these contrasts are extremely noticeable and some are not. One such facet is with the use of a neutral character; to not only showcase the main character’s flaws, but so not to detract from the moral of the story. Creon, from the play “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles is used for both of these reasons. Sophocles wished to show that one cannot escape fate, yet did not want to cloud this issue with a possible coupe against his main character Oedipus. He also showed how, at times one character can act completely irrational, while one remains calm in the face of serious accusations.
The characters in a novel or play are attributed certain characteristics by the author. The opinions one might form of a character are based on these; therefore, the characteristics suggested by an author are intrinsic to the reader having a complete and subjective understanding of a work. Characteristics are often displayed through a character s actions, in what is said about them, and what they themselves say, which shall be the focus of this essay. Both Oedipus, in Sophocles' King Oedipus and Odysseus, in The Odyssey of Homer, oftenare spoken of by others, but their own words are telling, as certain emotions and traits can be seen. Traits of a character can often be
The Odyssey is an Ancient Greek epic poem, giving the account of Greek hero Odysseus’ ill-fated ten year journey home after the fall of Troy. It is attributed to the Greek poet Homer, and thought to have been written in the 8th century BC. In the opening passages of the poem, we find Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, still weeping for her husband after twenty years of his absence. Throughout history, Penelope has come to represent chastity and faithfulness in marriage, and though she is undoubtedly and unfailingly loyal, she is not nearly so one-dimensional. Instead, Penelope’s relationship with her husband is one of enduring love, loyalty, trust, and an equality that is almost unheard-of in Ancient Greek literature.