Representation Of Women In The Odyssey

1045 Words 5 Pages
The Odyssey, one of Homer’s renowned works, was composed in about the 8th century BCE. It has been told and read for generations, and it has also served as a foundation for many other stories. However, it can often brush aside the idea of feminism and put men on a pedestal, leaving modern readers questioning how the role of women 2,800 years ago bittersweetly relates to the role of women in 2018. Although The Odyssey portrays a few examples of female strength, The Odyssey generally downgrades women by demonizing them and making excuses for male behavior.
Females are occasionally depicted as strong and powerful in The Odyssey; they have been capable of guiding people through journeys and battle, luring men into traps, and killing many. One example
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However, for the females of The Odyssey, this was false much too often. The female power-holders of the story often are shown to use their power for ill. This can be shown in a prior example, where Scylla “snatched six men from our hollow ship.” She was clearly annoyed by the passing men and was simply trying to get them to leave her alone, yet she ended up being demonized. However, when Odysseus killed the majority of the suitors invading his home, it was perfectly acceptable. A double standard is revealed through this encounter. Just across the channel, there was Charybdis, “her horrible whirlpool gulping the sea-surge down, down.” Her creative methods of murder were also mentioned in the story, but she was unfairly demonized. Poor Charybdis was simply trying to help her father, Poseidon, when he and Zeus had a sibling squall. However, Zeus was not pleased and ended up torturing her by transforming her into a monster. Had it not been for the brothers’ rash actions, then Charybdis would have remained a normal maiden. Thanks to the men, however, these two females were demonized and left a scar on the reputation of women for millenia. It also became the norm for male behavior of the same caliber to be …show more content…
However, it often snatched the use of power for good away from them and left most females with abilities that made them monsters. It also encouraged unfair double standards and taught generations that certain male behavior was unacceptable for females. The Odyssey likes to think that its favor of Athena promotes gender equality, but in reality, the story is simply another pseudo-feminist one that will not help modern society to progress. Because of this, it is about time to change the epic that society uses as a base for books, movies, and television shows. Maybe the new epic will have male and female main characters. Maybe the monsters’ backstories will be taken into account. And maybe, just maybe, the maids will

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