The Deception Of Women In Homer's The Odyssey

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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

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