Rationality And Sentimentalism : Wives Heroic And Pitiful Essay
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Rationality and Sentimentalism: Wives Heroic and Pitiful
In spite of the fact that neither Penelope nor Jocasta is the protagonist in the two great works Odyssey and Oedipus, the two characters both play important roles in driving the plots ahead, significantly contributing to the completely different fates of their husbands, Odysseus and Oedipus. Jocasta is a typical representative of the group of women who are passive and dependent. She inevitably falls victim to the male world, in that she fades into the background of the play and is marginalized under the masculine value system. Penelope, on the contrary, is a model of the active and dynamic female image. She is intelligent and courageous enough to act on her own free will and to display her talents at the center of the male stage. Instead of complying to the given adversity, she withstands the pressure of public opinions and takes initiative to convert her unfavorable situation. Consequently, the successful return of Odysseus and the miserable banishment of Oedipus are not unpredictable under these circumstances. The sharply contradictory decisions of Penelope and Jocasta illustrate evidently the remarkable influences the wives have on their husbands’ destinies.
Penelope, as the wife of Odysseus, symbolizes the sweet and warm home that wanderer Odysseus yearns to return and also the irreplaceable history and memories of Odysseus. Hence, the actions that Penelope takes should be considered a significant component of