The Deception Of Women In Homer's The Odyssey

Improved Essays
According to The Odyssey by Homer and Hippolytus by Euripides, women in ancient Greece were “a great evil” (Euripides 2001: 29), deceitful, and liars. Throughout Odysseus’ journey, Odysseus encounters several women who kill men in his army, cause battles and the slaughter of many men and deceive the characters in the epic through disguises. The most destructive women in The Odyssey are Athena, Zeus’ daughter, and Clytemnestra, Agememnon’s wife. Although Athena appears to guide Telemachus in finding his father, Odysseus, return, we later discover that she had the desire for a battle where many of the suitors die. Additionally, Clytemnestra betrays Agememnon by “…schem[ing] [his] death while [he was] world’s away” (Homer 1997: 263). Furthermore, in Hippolytus, women collectively lie and ultimately lead to the downfall of the two main male characters, Hippolytus and Theseus. Phaedra, deceives …show more content…
Multiple times, women have lied in order to destroy men and get what they yearn for. In Hippolytus, both Phaedra and Aphrodite lie and deceive Theseus and Hippolytus. This results in the tragic death of Hippolytus, something Aphrodite had planned because of his refusal to worship or address her. Phaedra aids in both men’s defeat as well when she lies about Hippolytus raping her. Phaedra, however, “in fear that she would be found out, wrote lying letters and destroyed [Theseus’] son by her tricks but still she persuaded [Theseus]” (Euripides 2001: 55). Moreover, in The Odyssey, Clytemnestra causes an “outrage she committed, killing the man she married once” (Homer 1997: 474) in order to be able to be with her lover Aegisthus. Athena also plans for the destruction of men. She disguises herself as mentor and uses Telemachus and Odysseus to create a battle. Overall, women in ancient Greece were portrayed as destructive and deceitful beings who plot against men to fulfill their desire and ultimately benefit

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Medea, who is a victim that has certain qualities of a hero, becomes the villain due to her fate and anger. However, the question still remains, is Medea the hero or villain of the play? To answer this question one must follow her development from victim to villain. One must look at her motives behind her terrible actions. Medea killed her brother and left her family in order to be with Jason, only to be left to live by her own in a foreign country.…

    • 1203 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    It is used as a literary device to portray the abrupt solution of a seemingly unsolvable problem which can be used to shock the audience. Both women manipulate people that they care about, and both do it out of love. However, Medea is fueled by rage as a result of her crumbling love. Helen is fueled by love and is attempting to save her love by crumbling another’s love for her. Medea goes so far as to kill her children and her ex-husband’s new wife.…

    • 1313 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Women In Homer's Odyssey

    • 707 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Lastly there is the wife of Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, who cheats on him then teams up with her lover to kill him and rule his empire. Clytemnestra is included in the poem as the archetype of distrustful and unloyal wife and to be compared to the loyal Penelope. The part in the poem when Odysseus visits the underworld and sees Agamemnon after he is killed and Agamemnon tells him to pay close attention to women is used to enhance the point of Clytemnestra being a cheater and how the lack of loyalty displayed in her actions diminished all validity of her reputation. The actions of these three women created a barrier between them, a loyal wife, a sneaky, seductress, and a disloyal…

    • 707 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Women in the ancient world were treated differently from the men as if they were not that important. Medea, on the other hand, Instead of moving on with her life, Medea had allowed her emotions get the best of her. This is what caused her to go into rage. As stated in the past, she had already committed a murder of her brother to show her honor and loyalty to Jason. Now the tables have turned since he betrayed her and their family all at once.…

    • 899 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The Gods Castor and Pollux have an ongoing rivalry with Apollo, since they want to go against him for misguiding Electra, they decide to punish the siblings. Electra is punished by being forced to marry Pylades and return to Phokis, while Orestes must wander around for twenty years while being chased by the furies, then can be judged by Athena to see if he is innocent. In Heracles, Hera was seeking revenge against Zeus and did so in a way to ruin Heracles’ life. She killed all of his family. By abusing her power to gain revenge against her husband for one affair when there are rumored to be hundreds of previous affairs, she attacked one innocent person instead of going after Zeus himself.…

    • 1030 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This is shown to be a weapon of destruction in the play Othello and in today world due to the fact that one can not feel happy for another. In Othello Iago did not obtain what he wanted so he went on to being the reason of Desdemona death and Othello 's suicide.We saw it when Othello wanted Cassio dead because he thought he was having an affair with Desdemona. We see this in our own world, be it at our own school or home with sibling or even with friends. Some people take this jealousy they have too far like Iago and end up getting people killed because of it. This proves the fact that Jealousy at a mans heart can be the one thing the destroys his world.…

    • 1066 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Creon Tragic Flaw Analysis

    • 863 Words
    • 4 Pages
    • 3 Works Cited

    In following with Jason and Medea’s story, Jason leaves Medea to marry Megareus because he desires to marry into a royal family instead of Medea’s barbaric lifestyle. His self-centered choice in marriage angers Medea to the point of ultimate loathing. Medea even goes so far as to poison Megareus through the misleading gift of a robe and crown. In the final scenes of Medea, Medea kills her and Jason’s two children because her raging anger towards Jason is stronger than the love for her children. Medea, an “unhappy woman” makes an act to condemn Jason for his selfishness in leaving her, but she does not realize that in her “harsh murder” of her own children, she too is acting selfishly (Medea 1496).…

    • 863 Words
    • 4 Pages
    • 3 Works Cited
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Medea Vs Oedipus Essay

    • 929 Words
    • 4 Pages

    This includes leaving her homeland and having two children with him. The tragedy begins when Jason leaves Medea due to a fight and falls in love with the daughter of the king of Corinth. Upon learning this, Medea vows to ruin not only Jason, but his new wife, their home, and even her own children. Medea here is showing signs of delusion and she does not understand the potential consequences of her thoughts and potential actions, nor the fact that killing Jason’s children equates to killing her own. Medea eventually tricks Jason into believing that she is no longer is willing or able to harm him or his own family, so she then sends her children back with poisoned gifts.…

    • 929 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Browning- (2-4) In these stories all of them demonstrate Destructive Love in different fashions, all of them wanted control and could not get it. When they did get control it made someone unhappy in the relationship. Lady Macbeth made Macbeth kill Duncan and that tormented him. Catherine in Wuthering Heights was looking over Heathcliff because he was looked down upon by some and only looking for wealth. The Duke had his last Duchess killed or her did it himself, after she did many wrong doings to him.…

    • 776 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In many novels and plays, the tragic figures function as an instrument of the suffering of others and in turn is what causes the play as a whole to become a tragedy. The play Medea is no different. To prevent the tragic figure, Medea, a witch, from cursing the city of Greece and her sons are about to be exiled because her husband, Jason, has found a younger and more powerful woman, the daughter of King Creon. Like most women, Medea panics and is out to seek revenge on those who want to banish her, thus making the play a full blown tragedy. Medea, furious with the fate the city of Greece has brought upon her, isn’t about to go down without a fight.…

    • 555 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays