The Odyssey Character Analysis

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The remarkable and incredibly famous Odyssey, an epic poem written by Homer and translated by Robert Fitzgerald contains a wide variety of characters and portrayals of these characters. Throughout the story, the reader is constantly meeting various figures who are represented in contrasting ways. Although the book is dominated by male characters and was written in a time when men were considered the superior gender, the poem does possess a group of female characters varying vastly in portrayals and reputations. Although some female characters are represented positively as clever, helpful and independant, some others are seen negatively as manipulative and foolish, and an overall problem for the male characters. Some females are seen only for …show more content…
During the entire poem, Penelope is depicted as clever and incredibly loyal to her husband and son. Throughout almost the entire poem, Penelope must deal with numerous suitors who only want to marry her due to her wealth, and who disrespect her daily by slaughtering and eating her animals and wreaking havoc in her household. Even with the vast amounts of pressure and doubt, Penelope stays loyal to her husband and never marries or gives up hope. Penelope also comes up with clever schemes to fool the suitors. In once instance, Penelope tells the suitors that she needs to finish a weaving before marrying any of them, and all the suitors agree that this is fair. After that “every day she [Penelope] wove on the great loom- / but every night by torchlight she unwove it; / and so for three years she deceived the Akhaians” (Pg. 22). Penelope once again fools the suitors by convincing them she is going to marry, and that any suitor who wants to be considered must shower her with gifts. Penelope calls to the suitors, “Others who go to court a gentlewoman, / daughter of a rich house, if they are rivals, / bring their own bees and sheep along; her friends / ought to be feasted, gifts are due to her; / would any dare to live at her expense?” (pg345). In this way, Penelope convinces the suitors to shower her with gifts and to stop stealing her supplies when she really has no intention of marrying any of them. These schemes highlight Penelope’s cleverness and positively depict her sharp mind. The schemes also show Penelope’s devotion to her husband that even after many years she still has no intention of marrying anyone else. Penelope’s loyalty and cleverness are portrayed very positively throughout the

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