The Role Of Women In Homer's Odyssey

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The Role of Women In The Odyssey In literature, are women used as important roles or only used as love interests and for their beauty? This question has been around for a long time and there is still no clear answer. One literary example is the women characters in Homer’s The Odyssey- the ancient Greek epic of Odysseus and his journey home to Ithaka. When on his journey, Odysseus meets many women who are ultimately used as alluring characters to distract Odysseus on his journey home. Throughout the epic, many of the women characters Odysseus comes across have not been conveyed as intelligent or heroic, but as attractive and irresistible. With the majority of women being described in the same way - as beautiful and seductive- Homer…show more content…
Another example of this is when Eurylokhos and Odysseus talk about what happened to Odysseus’ men when they were turned into swine. Eurylokhos frantically says, “‘They hailed her, and then she stepped through shining doors and said, ‘Come, come in!’ Like sheep they followed her…’” (X. 281-283). This excerpt shows the reader how Odysseus’ men are so allured by Kirke that they follow her putting themselves in danger and are eventually turned into swine. This proves that they will follow Kirke blindly because of her beauty and captivating nature. Homer consistently uses depictions of Kirke that lead us to believe she is seductive and charming, but does not touch upon her her personality otherwise. Therefore, Homer portrays how women were viewed during ancient Greek times by describing Kirke’s appearance in great depth and displaying her as an object for Odysseus and his men to love.
After many more stops to various islands, Odysseus finds himself on Kalypso’s island. Kalypso is a nymph who holds Odysseus hostage for seven years. Kalypso is in love with Odysseus and keeps him on her island in hopes of marrying him. She even goes as far as offering him immortality if he stays. Kalypso’s main role in the epic is her seductiveness and her ability to entrance men. She is constantly described as an evil seducer: “The sweet days of his life time were running out in anguish over his exile, for long
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