Masculinity And The Ideal Man

969 Words Dec 11th, 2015 4 Pages
Masculinity and “the ideal man” are themes and ideas that have been explored in stories for centuries. From ancient Greek epics to modern television programs, the theme of what it means to be a man has been developed repeatedly, with some of the core ideals remaining the same and others changing with modern societal perceptions. While the idea of activity over passivity persists as an accepted and ideal trait of masculinity, the ideal that men must be dominant over women to match the portrait of “the ideal man” has been displaced. Through examination of both Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey and the Netflix television production House of Cards these ideals of masculinity, who assigns them, and their evolution or lack thereof can be explored and determined.
This analysis reveals that while activity is an enduring trait of the masculine ideal, the idea that men need to be dominant over women has been, for the most part, eradicated from the portrait of “the ideal man” by modern society.

Activity is a trait of ideal masculinity that is pervasive in both the Odyssey and House of Cards. As the story of the Odyssey begins, Telemachos is not a man, he is more of an adolescent. Once Telemachos calls for a meeting to evict the suitors, he begins on his path from adolescence to manhood. He begins to follow in his father’s masculine footsteps when he calls the first meeting on Ithaca since his father left for Troy. He continues his path of action when he leaves Ithaca to seek information…
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