Exploring Gender Roles in The Odyssey Essay

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For years upon years women have been looked at from all different lights and perspectives. In the past, for most cultures, most of these views placed women in less important household and societal positions as opposed to men. Women were most commonly seen as wives, mothers, and housekeepers, depending on their social class, whereas men took the head role as husband, father, provider, and protector. Men had and still have, in the majority of cases, all the power in the family. In Homer’s epic poems, The Odyssey as well as The Iliad, gender roles are very much established. I believe that in both of the epics women are not only portrayed unfairly they are portrayed inaccurately to an extent.
In The Iliad the most predominant portrayal of
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This furthers the idea that the roles of women in these texts are much lower than that of mans because she is devaluing herself to relinquish her blunder and prove her worthiness as Menelaus’s wife once more. The objectification of women is common nowadays as well, but instead of being directed towards women for whatever their reasons may be, now it is intentionally used as advertisement to draw consumers in to purchase products. Essentially the advertisements are saying, for an example, if you buy this beer you could get with women like this: picture of two pretty women on either side of a man holding a twelve pack of Bud light. In reality the probable outcome for the consumer would be: passed out somewhere with dried puke down his shirt, not the sexy end to his night he was hoping for. Both forms of objectification of women are demeaning, but in my opinion, it would be worse to be some man’s war prize. So to sum it up, basically property and sex slaves, not exactly worded as such within the text, but the meaning is still relatively the same, were the primary statuses associated with the women in The Iliad, not very pleasant roles I think.
However, in The Odyssey women are no longer portrayed as objects, with the exception of a

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