Impurity In The Odyssey Essay

830 Words 4 Pages
Throughout history, women have been frowned upon for being promiscuous by many people such as Ayn Rand who considers, “promiscuity immoral.” In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus faces adversity on his ten year journey home from the Trojan War. This included coming across women who had infamous reputations due to being open with their sexualities. Some of these women included Calypso, Circes, the sirens, and the maids in his own home. The author, Homer, wrote the Odyssey as a cautionary tale for women to save their reputations and be pure.
Odysseus encounters Circes on his journey home, which highlights the double standard that haunts the women of ancient Greece. When approaching Circe’s place, Hermes gave him certain instructions to follow: “Take with
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While sailing, Odysseus and his crew pass the sirens and Odysseus gets tempted by their song. As Odysseus said, the sirens, “made me crave to listen, and I tried to say/ ‘Untie me!’ to the crew, jerking to my brows;/ but they bent steady to the oars”(XII.246-249). The sirens tempting Odysseus proves their impurity, which, in turn, goes to show their blatant reputations. Homer writes, “The Seirenes will sing his mind away/ on their sweet meadow lolling. There are bones/ of dead men rotting in a pile beside them/ and flayed skins shrivel around the spot” (XII.52-55). In the Odyssey, Circe warned Odysseus before he left, displaying that the sirens are known for tempting nearby sailors. It is hinted towards women who want to save their reputations to not tempt men. The sirens emphasize temptations as Odysseus and his crew sails past …show more content…
After escaping the sirens’ temptations, Odysseus is held hostage for seven years by the beautiful nymph, Calypso. Throughout the first book of the Odyssey, Calypso is portrayed as a lovesick captor. The quote “His daughter will not let Odysseus go,/ pour mournful man; she keeps on coaxing him/ with her beguiling talk, to turn his mind/ from Ithaka” proves Calypso wanted to be loved (I.75-78). Calypso wanted to be loved so badly, she resorted to holding Odysseus hostage on her island for years by attempting to keep his mind off Ithaka. When Calypso was told to let Odysseus travel home she became very upset and bargained with him. Homer writes, “If you could see it all, before you go-/ all the adversity you face at sea-/ you would stay here, and guard this house, and be/ immortal” (V.210-215). This further proves Calypso was so desperate for love she had to resort to offering immortality to fill the hole in her heart . Being desperate for love is an indication for being

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