The ability of women to influence the course of events in Iliad and Odyssey
Women have always been an important part of human history since it began. The Greek Myths also show how women, though not as powerful as men, have been able to cause great changes to the course of events. The Trojan of war is one glorified example of it where because of one woman thousands of soldiers died. I would like to talk about such women from the readings that we have done in this course. I shall be talking about Helen of Troy, Kalypso, Circe, Nausicaa and Penelope to show how mortals and immortals have powers of sort but are still inferior to men.
We shall talk about the characters from the epic poems Iliad and Odyssey, so I shall give a brief background …show more content…
She was able to empower men with her beauty and that is why she is such a powerful character. She was also able to runaway with another man and this in Homeric time was unacceptable but she still does it.
Kalypso was the daughter of Atlas and she was a seam nymph in Greek mythology. She, with her powers, empowers Odysseus and enslaves him as she wanted him to marry her. She was able to do so even though Odysseus was much powerful than her. Odysseus loved his wife too much and wanted to go back to her but was not able to do so. Until Athena asks Zeus to free him from the island and let him get back to his beloved wife Penelope. Kalypso only lets Odysseus go when Hermes, messenger of Gods, comes down on Zeus request and tells Kalypso to release him. He finally goes back to his wife after seven years of imprisonment.
This shows us that though Kalypso was not a goddess nor as powerful as Odysseus, she was still able to hold him back for seven years. It is also surprising that she was able to confess her love and her desire to have Odysseus for herself. It is also interesting to see that Kalypso is obedient enough to honor Zeus’ wish without creating any troubles for Hermes. Circe is another character of The Odyssey. She lived in forest and was a witch. She was the daughter of the Sun God Helios. Through her powers she turned Odyssey’s crew into pigs. Odyssey with the help of Hermes advice of using the holy herb moly to protect him from Circe’s curse was able
Throughout the epic poem “Odyssey” we see many great characters who all bring a different feel to the story. “Odyssey” is a story that has a male main character and many male side characters, but it also has several female characters found in it. Each one of these females have an important role within the story and it would not be the same without them. Athena, Penelope, and Eucycleia are a few examples of female characters.
In these examples, Homer is intending to win our admiration for Penelope. Her loyalty to Odyssey and the slim chance that that he may still be alive are taken to a heroic level, which defy the apparent convention of the day that a woman should not be without a husband. Her cunning in keeping the suitors at bay are also to be admired, and have a parallel in the cunning of Odysseus himself, as Odysseus is also often praised for his resourcefulness in overcoming obstacles.
Homer's "Odyssey" depicts women as strong subjects-they are real substantive characters. Women in this poem are tough, strong-willed and are treated with the respect and seriousness they deserve. Homer characterizes the women in his poem as the real counterparts of men-they have real feelings, real plans and are able to accomplish them on their own.
She is a “bewitching nymph” and “lustrous goddess” (206). She forces Odysseus to stay with her as her lover for many years. Odysseus was able to escape from the Cyclops’ cave. However, neither his strength nor his cunning can free him from Calypso. He is doomed to remain there until the gods intervene. Women’s irresistible charm leads Odysseus to disaster.
He later discovers that his mother, Antikleia, has passed away, due to mourning him, however, his father still lives. Laertes lives away from the city, sorrowful for his missing son. When Odysseus encounters Antikelia’s ghost in the underworld, he says to his mother, “Tell me about the wife I married, what she wants, what she is thinking” (Book 11, lines 176-177). In this passage it is clear that Odysseus still loves and cares for his beloved Penelope. Accepting Kalypso’s offer would forsake Penelope, while also abandoning Telemachos, and Laertes. His family needs Odysseus, and he also needs them. Without family, Odysseus’ life is incomplete and his identity is lost. Without his father, Odysseus would not have the courage he possesses. Without Telemachos and Penelope, he would not know familial love. He rejects the offer of immortality so that one day he may return to and be united with his family again. His longing for the reunion with them, which would allow him to regain his identity, is what motivates him to deny Kalypso’s offer.
For this informative report I will attempt to point out the roles women and how they are viewed in ancient Greece. I will then show how these views are present in Homer’s "The Odyssey." How are women, goddess or mortal, conveyed in "The Odyssey?"
Many people regard Homer’s epics as war stories—stories about men; those people often overlook the important roles that women play in the Odyssey. While there are not many female characters in the Odyssey, the few that there are, play pivotal roles in the story and one can gain a lot of insight by analyzing how those women are portrayed. Homer portrays the females in contradictory ways: the characters of Athena and Eurykleia are given strong, admirable roles while Melantho, the Sirens and Circe are depicted in a much more negative way. Penelope—the central female character—is given both negative and positive attributes.
Odysseus is also unheroic because he shows disloyalty during his journey home by indulging himself in treacherous acts. Odysseus commits adultery twice. When he lands on the island of Aiaia, he sleeps with Kirke. Later in the journey, Odysseus commits adultery again with Kalypso for seven years and by will: “He lay with her each night, for she compelled him.” (V, 163). Odysseus does not resist Kalypso’s charm, thus cheats on his wife Penelope. Despite the suitors, Penelope stays loyal to Odysseus. Even when Odysseus was thought to be dead, she still puts up with the suitors’ behavior and refuses to remarry. She even comes up with a ruse so she can stall having to remarry. Penelope is experiencing so much pressure from the suitors and her family, but she still refuses to succumb and does not cheat on Odysseus. Odysseus’s acts of adultery and
Penelope is also important because she (along with Telemachus) is the main reason for Odysseus to return home. Odysseus shows his great love and determination when goddess Calypso offers him immortality (Book 5) on the condition that he remains on Ogygia as her husband. At Odysseus's first opportunity he builds a raft and sails away, leaving the lonely Calypso behind. When he reaches Phaeacia, he is then offered the hand of King Alcinous daughter, Nausicaa, who must have been beautiful because Odysseus had mistaken her for the goddess Artemis on first site. Instead Odysseus wished to return to Penelope.
Throughout the Odyssey Odysseus faces an internal battle between loyalty and betrayal in the presence of numerous temptations. Odysseus’s first situation was with Kalypso. Although Odysseus does cheat on Penelope with Kalypso, he still remains loyal, and his love for her hardly wanes. Kalypso
Women are important to the plot and overall theme of the Odyssey. In fact, without many of the women there would not be a complex plot to this epic poem. In the narrative and in Greek society women played a variety of roles, as mothers, herons, and many other strong roles yet, they were treated as less significant, and were made to be loyal and submissive to men. The women were required to wait on and sulk for love, as Penelope did for 20 years. In Greek society, the women had very little authority but the little control that they did have was sort of a sexual power, which at times they could use to outwit the men. Obvious examples of this sexual power would be Circe and Calypso. Calypso and Circe however, are not the
Despite this high opinion of Penelope, before he left, Odysseus and Kalypso " . . . retired, this pair [He and Kalypso], to the inner cave/to revel and rest softly, side by side."(Homer V:235-238) This was not the only time Odysseus "retired", with another woman. On the island of Kirke "[he] entered Kirke's flawless bed of love"(Homer X:390). Despite these few instances, Odysseus remained faithful to Penelope in their twenty years apart. He never loved either Kalypso or Kirke as he did Penelope, and thusly chose not to stay with either of the two. Although the principle might get lost in the tale, Penelope played the part of the goal for Odysseus to obtain, or re-obtain by the end of the Odyssey.
Odysseus arrives on Calypso’s island alone, after the loss of his men and ship. Calypso rescues him and loves and cares for him in her cave. At first, it seems like Odysseus doesn’t seem much to mind her taking care of him, but over time it is plainly evident that he is unhappy with her. When Hermes arrives on Calypso’s island to give her the message from Zeus to release Odysseus, he is bawling on the beach a day-long activity for him. Calypso is holding him with her by force; she has no companions to help him back to Ithaka, nor has she a ship to send him in. Athena pleads with Zeus to give Odysseus good fortune, saying that "he lies away on an island suffering strong pains in the palace of the nymph Kalypso, and she detains him by constraint, and he cannot make his way to his country, for he has not any ships by him, nor any companions who can convey him back
There were far more restrictions placed on the women of the ancient world than on the men. To many, this may appear to be an obvious fact. However, the comparison of women to men in the Odyssey does not show such a discrepancy. The women created by Homer had certain characteristics that set them apart from ordinary women. Penelope was a woman who did not give in to the demands of her surroundings. She suffered throughout the twenty year absence of her husband, Odysseus. She maintained her dignity and her chastity through her refusal of the hoards of suitors that flocked to her home. Penelope represents the ideal woman for balancing her refusals of marriage and the preservation of her respect. When ready to address her suitors, Eurymachus, a suitor himself, speaks out from the crowd in praise of Penelope. He states, "Ah, daughter of Icarius, wise Penelope . . . You surpass all women in build and beauty, refined and steady mind" (18. 276,280). The acts of Penelope would not have been allowed of an ordinary woman of those times. Her loyalty to Odysseus was unflagging and quite contrary to Clytaemestra's loyalty, another character in the Odyssey, though she is never mentioned by name.
Odysseus refuses Kalypso's immortality because he glories in the very restrictions imposed by mortality. His love for his