Women In The Odyssey Analysis

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The thought that epic poetry is inherently male poetry is true, yet only to the extent that it was a product of the civilization of Greece at the time. First and foremost, the functioning meaning of this claim is that epic poetry features only male leads and functions as commentary and development of solely male roles. While it is true that stories such as The Iliad and The Odyssey do feature male leads and very few, or essentially none in the case of The Iliad, non-static female characters, it should be taken into consideration that this was the desire of the Greek audience for which they were written. Furthermore, Homer altered the function of women between The Iliad and The Odyssey based upon the primary themes of the respective epics themselves. …show more content…
The Iliad’s primary focus is war, and takes place during about a two week span near the end of the Greek-Trojan War, so it would follow logically based on the role of women presented by the Greek’s values (which were essentially mirrored by the Trojans as well) that women would not serve an incredibly prominent or dynamic role within the story. Yet in The Odyssey, Penelope, Odysseus’ wife, plays an incredibly central role to the story and even functions as more as an individual role rather than a simple representation for women at the time. This is best seen in the interaction between Agamemnon and Odysseus, when Agamemnon even refers to Penelope “prudent” and implies that she is possessing, at least to a degree, of the same metis that Odysseus exhibits, and in the cleverness that Penelope exhibits when revealing Odysseus’ identity by having him describe the marriage bed. Both of these instances serve to show the reader Penelope’s characteristics of intelligence and quick wit that was previously un-exhibited by a woman in a war-centered novel such as The …show more content…
Furthermore, upon careful analysis of the epics while women often play minor roles in the epics, they often play crucial narrative driving roles, and without these roles the story would become stagnant and

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