Forceful Women In The Odyssey

Decent Essays
Amelia Anderson
Ms. Slevin and Mr. Richardson
The Odyssey
19 November 2017

Forceful females

Women in The Odyssey were very important and powerful. Homer shows the different ways that men and women are valued in Greek society. The women are often given less freedom and expected to act in a certain manner, such as being faithful to their husbands. The men in the Greek society do not control the outcome of the women’s lives and actions. Although the men often control large parts of the female characters' existence, they do not control how the women choose to respond to their situations. Some women characters in The Odyssey have nearly as much influence as men. Two characters that display this power -- each in their own way -- are Penelope
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She is the goddess of wisdom who appears in the story many times, interfering and moving the plot along as she wishes. Athena does not fit the social norm of a female in the Greek society and arguably could be the most powerful female character in the book. She is confident, smart, witty, a master of disguise and one of the main reasons that Odysseus finally returns home. Athena is constantly using her knowledge and powers to lead Odysseus along in the right direction and protect him from harm: “The rest of the winds she stopped right in their tracks, / commanding them to all hush now, go to sleep” (164. 422-423). Athena protects Odysseus from danger because her heart yearns for him and she has the power to protect him. Athena protects those who need it most such as Penelope, sending her a phantom in the form of her sister into her dreams to reassure her that all is well. “Athena sped her on to King Odysseus’ house / to spare Penelope, worn with pain and sobbing, / further spells of grief and storm of tears” (150. 897-900). Throughout the story, Athena takes the role of both protector and guide as she not only leads but fights alongside both Odysseus and …show more content…
Although in Greek civilization women are perceived to have less freedom and control, characters like Penelope and Athena show that statement to be wrong at times. These female characters in the Odyssey are strong and powerful and help determine the outcome of the novel. Penelope and Athena are both examples of powerful and influential women in their society, using their knowledge and strengths to control their destiny. The female characters not only shape a large part of The Odyssey but also break away from the expectations of Greek

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