A name does not define who you were, who you are, or who you will become. It is just a sounds others use to get your attention. Some of these “sounds” have a famous (or infamous) history that make the name difficult to live up to or break away from. In the case of Helen of Omeros, the narrator is constantly trying to fit her into the box created the legacy of Helen of Tory/Odyssey. However, Helen of Omeros’ strong will and personality and overall uniqueness is still able to shine through, despite the narrator’s biases, and we are able to see the individual differences between the two women and their connection to the evolution of Helen throughout history. We only catch a glimpse of Helen in the Odyssey, but Helen in Walcott’s Omeros is …show more content…
He tries to tie her to the woman of her namesake, who doesn’t exactly represent feminism, but she is an individual and we can still see the strength in Helen of Omeros shine through. She doesn’t allow men to mistreat her and will stand up for herself, contradicting the stereotypical role of women as timid and docile. She is independent, knows what she wants and does what she wants. She breaks several gendered stereotypes. However, she could still be seen as falling into the place of a woman when she starts a relationship with Achille after Hector dies. She could be doing this for the security have a man/husband and father-figure for her child would bring, but she may also be doing it for herself, which would fall into line with the evolution into a more feminist character. Helen of the Odyssey, on the other hand, could be seen as believing in and enforcing gender stereotypes on a much deeper level. She allows for herself to be fought over and be the bride of whomever wins, rather than choosing who she loves and wants to be with, which portrays her as a passive, submissive woman. When Telemachus visits Sparta and shares a meal in Menelaus and Helen’s home, Helen goes as far as to drug all the men because they are crying, which isn’t the “manly” thing to do. During the time of Helen of the Odyssey, living and enforcing these types of gender roles was the standard way of life. In the past few decades or so,
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Homer is a legendary writer who is foreshadowed by many other writers in his work. While most agree with and follow in Homers footsteps, there are also those who deliberately see and do things in a dissimilar way. This can be presented by the use of the character, Helen, in the Odyssey and in Sappho’s Fragment 16. Homer and Sappho use Helen in their stories in conflicting ways to differentiate epic and lyric poetry while also expressing different ideas and perspectives.
The Odyssey, by Homer, was written with the Greek mindset that women were supposed to be submissive. If the woman in question was not submissive enough, she was depicted as cruel, selfish, a monster, or a whore. This is true for both mortal women, such as Penelope, and immortal goddesses, such as Calypso. Mortal women were expected to be good faithful wives who listened to everything the head of the household said, while goddesses were expected to follow the gods every order and were called sexist slurs if they ever got involved with a mortal man.
In both the poems “ To Helen” and “Helen” the views of Helen—“the face that launched a thousand ships”, differs as her beauty praised as a heroine juxtaposes the belief that she remains a traitor.
Helen of Sparta’s portrayals in many different accounts of mythology and history are extremely dissimilar. Helen was said to be the daughter of Zeus and Leda (Queen of Sparta), and was the wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta. Helen was abducted by Paris of Troy and when Menelaus came to retrieve Helen, the Trojan war began. In “The Odyssey”, Helen is shown as living happily with Menelaus after he brought her back from Sparta. She is portrayed as an intelligent person who sees things for what they truly are, but is mostly reserved to wifely duties. In “Trojan Women” by Euripides, Helen is shown as a person who was used by the gods as a reward for Paris with nothing else in mind. However, she fights vehemently for her own innocence in the
The Iliad and The Odyssey are tales written by Homer centered on the drama of the Trojan War. First poem deals with the time during the end of the war, while the latter, which occurs roughly ten years later, explains the disastrous journey of Odysseus fighting his way back home. The character of women in the Odyssey is to exhibit the many and diverse roles that women play in the lives of men. These functions vary from characters such as the goddess ' that help them to the nymphs who trick them. Women in the Iliad exhibit their significance in the lives of the ancient Greeks because they are so prominent in a world so dominated with military relations.
Greek society is highly stratified, one where the distinctions between Nobles, peasants, and slaves are explicit. While many people consider women oppressed in the ancient hierarchy, this notion is somewhat contradicted in the Odyssey, where many women act as powerful figures. Penelope separates herself from the suitors that plague her palace, who are relentless in their pursuit for her hand in marriage. Circe has the capability to seduce an entire unit of Odysseus’ men and turn them into pigs. Athena benevolently guides Telemachus over the many obstacles he faces on his quest to seek out his father. Helen defects from Sparta, rallying all of Troy for her cause. Clytemnestra deceitfully plans Agamemnon's death for her new love interest, Aegisthus. Women in the Odyssey show that through seduction, trickery, and wisdom, women of Ancient Greece are able to obtain significant power.
Other women in the Odyssey are not portrayed as well as Athena and Eurykleia. Melantho, for example, is one of the debauched maids in Ithaka. She is rude and inhospitable to Odysseus when he is disguised as a beggar. She says to him: “Wretched stranger, you must be one whose wits are distracted, when you will not go where the smith is at work, and sleep there, or to some public gathering place, but staying here speak out boldly…” (XVIII, 327-330). She is also
Ancient Greek society treated women as secondary citizens. Restrictions were placed on the social and domestic actions of many aristocratic women in ancient Athens. The women depicted in Homer's Odyssey, on the other hand, are the ideal. Penelope, Clytaemestra, Athena, and Helen are all women with exceptional liberty and power.
In the Hebrew Bible and The Odyssey there are heroic figures that play an important role through out each of the books. These heroic figures from the Bible and The Odyssey have many similarities and differences that reflect the different cultures they are from. These heroes are called upon by greater beings, such as gods, to complete difficult journeys and or tasks that the god has made them destined to complete. Each of these legendary heroes demonstrates a particular culture’s needs. Through these journeys and or tasks they are forced to overcome challenging obstacles and make sacrifices.
It is important to keep reading, “The Odyssey.” Even though it is 2800, years old, students still need to learn about it. It is important to continue studying “The Odyssey” because is it a moral story, the historical significance is important, and it is essential to study other culture’s mythology.
Athena is the ancient Grecian Goddess of wisdom, law, courage, the arts and strength (among many others) in the religion and mythology of the ancient Greeks. She is the patron god of the magnificent city of Athens. Her Roman mythical equivalent is known as Minerva. As Athena is revealed to be the special patron of Odysseus, she is a crucial character in the classic epic poem The Odyssey, most commonly attributed to Homer. As the centuries have passed from the origins of the Odyssey and the Greek Myths at large, so have the presentations of the Gods.
People despised Helen for the woes her beauty caused and how many lives it took. “ For she ensnares the eyes of men, overthrows their towns, and burns their houses, so potent are her witcheries” - Hecuba. Of course Helen’s abduction and her home choosing to go to war because of this was not her fault, but a 10 bloody years could've been prevented.
Ithaca, the name of Odysseus’s home, is the namesake of this poem by Constantine Cavafy. Throughout the poem the author discusses the journey of the reader back to Ithaca, but he uses Ithaca as a metaphorical goal rather than a literal location. In the poem Ithaca by Constantine Cavafy, the author uses imagery to relate back to the theme that the journey is more important than the destiny itself. Throughout the Odyssey itself, Odysseus expresses that he wants to return to his homeland, Ithaca, as soon as possible.
Ten years after the fall of Troy, the victorious Greek hero Odysseus has still not returned to his native land Ithaca. A band of rowdy suitors, believing Odysseus to be dead, has overrun his palace, courting his faithful—though weakening—wife Penelope, and going through his stock for food. With permission from Zeus, the goddess Athena, Odysseus' greatest immortal ally, appears in disguise and urges Odysseus' son Telemachus to seek news of his father at Pylos and Sparta. However, the suitors, led by Antinous, plan to ambush him upon return.