The Treatment Of Women In Homer's Odyssey

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Imagine being the queen of a country, but not having any power. This is what life is like for the women in The Odyssey. The Odyssey, which was written by Homer, tells a story about the hero Odysseus trying to return to his family after fighting in the Trojan war. This story takes place long long ago in a society that treats women very differently than they are treated today. Throughout the story the reader can see how the women are treated and what their role in the society is. Most importantly the reader can see how poorly the women are treated. In the book the women are treated very poorly as they have little to no choice in who they marry, men are above them in power, and men can have relations with other women but women can’t have …show more content…
One way that they are treated poorly is that they are forced to marry. One example of this is from when Odysseus washes up on Alcinous’s island after getting off of Calypso’s island. When they first meet, Alcinous does not know that he is Odysseus, but instead he thinks that he is some kind of god. Even though Alcinous does not know Odysseus very well he still says, “... I wish you would stay here. Marry my daughter, and become my son-in-law”(II..64). This shows that even though Alcinous just met Odysseus, he wants him to marry his daughter. Also it tells the reader that Alcinous's daughter does not have a choice in this situation, and has to marry Odysseus if Odysseus chooses to. Therefore, it is a forced marriage which is an example of women being treated poorly. Another example of women being treated poorly and forced to marry is from when Odysseus and his crew land on Aiolia Island and meet Aiolos. He has, “6 daughters and six lusty sons-- and he gave girls to boys to be their gentle brides”(X.7.). This quote states that he “gives” his daughters to boys, which shows that he is forcing them to marry these boys and treating them like property. Another situation where women were being cheated poorly is from when Telemachus is talking to the suitors at the beginning of the book. He says, “ You suitors are all pestering my mother to marry you against your will”(II..26). This says that the suitors are forcing Penelope to marry one of them against her will. Which demonstrates how poorly women were treated. From all of these examples anyone can see that the women in the book The Odyssey were treated very poor as they were forced to marry men against their own

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