Women Of The Odyssey By Homer Essay

1596 Words Sep 22nd, 2015 null Page
Women of the Odyssey Throughout the Odyssey women are viewed in a myriad of ways; however, a common thread is woven into the epic. Women are seen as subordinate to men. Goddesses obey the gods, and mortal women kneel before their male counterparts. Suffering places itself upon women who disobey men. Females who allow men to control them are regarded with higher esteem than those who transgress the beliefs of men. At a glance it may appear that women are inferior to men; however, with deeper analysis it becomes evident that the women in the Odyssey wield subtle powers that are often overlooked. Penelope, Odysseus’s wife, is overwhelmed by suitors for most of the poem, but she proves her craftiness by keeping a possible marriage at bay. She promises to marry a suitor after she weaves a burial shroud for the great Laertes. Weaving by day and unweaving by night, Penelope manages to fool the suitors for three years (Homer, XIX ln.155-64). The feat of fooling the suitors for three years is not a simple task, and Penelope knows how to manipulate the suitors well. Honor plays a large role in the world of men. Odysseus states that he would rather die at war than on his journey home because dying at war is more honorable (V ln.308-14). Penelope uses that against them, knowing that the suitors will want to protect their reputation. The suitors believe that if they refused to allow Penelope create a shroud for Laertes that they might receive scorn from neighboring cities and…

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