Roles Of Women In Homer's The Odyssey

1546 Words 7 Pages
In Robert Fitzgerald’s translation of Homer’s, The Odyssey, the women play a crucial role to Odysseus’ journey home. Despite the fact that throughout the poem women are the inferior beings to men, it is with the power of Helen, Penelope, Athena, Kirke, Kalypso, and Nausikaa that Odysseus is able to return home. While each of these women, goddess or not, play a crucial role they are all very different and thus play different roles throughout the poem. While they all have different roles all of their roles are essential to his return. These women range from the loving, faithful wife, rescuers, temptress’, and an advocate. The reason for Odysseus’ journey is to fight in the battle over Helen of Troy, who had been kidnapped. This eventually leads …show more content…
After a while Athena realizes that Poseidon’s revenge has gone too far and begins to plea her case for Odysseus to her father. Throughout the poem she disguises herself and manipulates others to help and support Odysseus on his journey home. For instance, Athena comes to Princess Nausikaa in a dream and urges her to go to the river in which Odysseus rests to do her laundry. Athena does this in hope that Nausikaa will discover Odysseus and help him. This is in fact what happens, Nausikaa meets Odysseus, bathes him and agrees to help him by taking him to her parents. Athena continues to help Odysseus in that she disguises him again prior to him meeting Nausikaas parents. Athena makes him more desirable in hopes of giving him a better chance with the King and Queen, “Athena: one/ whose work moves to delight: just so lavished/ beauty over Odysseus’ head and shoulders” (Homer 106). Athena is also aware that the suitors of Penelope plan to murder Odysseus’ son Telemakhos. It is for this reason that Athena encourages Telemakhos to leave and search for his father. Athena essentially orchestrates Odysseus’ entire homecoming. Another example of when Athena disguises Odysseus is upon his arrival home. “Athena now poured out her grace upon [Odysseus],/ head and shoulders, height and mass – a splendor/ awesome to the eyes of the Phaiakians” (Homer 125). She does this so that Odysseus …show more content…
For starters, they all have Odysseus, whether they helped him, loved him, or just encountered him, he is their common ground. Not only did they all know him, each of them were an important part of getting him home and all of them were powerful enough to influence or control his actions. This is an important idea especially when one considers the patriarchal setting this book takes place in. Throughout this poem the men are clearly the superior ones and call most of the shots but all of the women controlled some part of the poem as well. The most powerful and most influential of them all however was Athena, for she is the one who stood up for Odysseus and essentially paved his path for his

Related Documents