Role of Women in the Odyssey Essay examples

810 Words Oct 30th, 2012 4 Pages
Natasha Castillo
October 3, 2012
Role of Women in “The Odyssey”
“The Odyssey” by Homer is an epic poem about Odysseus’ return to his wife and son in Ithica after the Trojan War. Women play an exceptionally large role in this epic poem. Odysseus’s son, Telemachus attempts to gain authority in the presence of the suitors but it is difficult. Especially once he goes on his own journey under the guidance of Athena. Throughout the epic poem however, the women play their roles as mothers, servants, seductresses, some are a combination. These ones can be seen as women in power because they use these tools in order to control men.
Mothers portrayed in this epic poem are seen as the givers of “pity and sorrow” rather than true supporters of their
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When Telemachus returns, he knocks some sense into Penelope. “Odysseus is not the only man who never came back from Troy, but many another went down as well as he. Go, then, within the house and busy yourself with your daily duties, your loom, your distaff, and the ordering of your servants; for speech is man’s matter, and mine above all others- for it is I who am master here” (Book 1).

The sirens and Circe are the ultimate seductresses in the epic poem. Circe turns Odysseus’ men into pigs and tells him she will change them back only if he goes into bed with her. Odysseus does not realize that he stays in bed with her for about a year or so. Sirens sing to men at sea and make them fall in love with them and then eat them. These are great examples of seductresses. However, I believe Clytemnestra is another good example. She is Agamemnon’s wife and during his absence, suitors too surround her. Clytemnestra also went through a deep mourning and shows that women who are mothers and are devoted to their husbands, sons, and family, are prone to look for other men, in their absence. Clytemnestra falls in love with Aegisthus and they plot to kill Agamemnon when he returns. “At first she would have nothing to do with his wicked scheme, for she was of a good natural disposition; moreover there was a bard with her, to whom Agamemnon had given strict orders on setting out for Troy, that he
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