The Women and Their Roles in The Odyssey
Throughout his journey, Odysseus meets a few female characters who become essential elements of The Odyssey. In the beginning of the epic, Odysseus' main goal is to return home after many years of absence but along the way the sexual appeal of certain female characters distract him from his ultimate goal. Many of the female characters in The Odyssey are portrayed as seductresses creatures who desire different kinds of intimacy. Since they could not be dominant or had any input on certain situations they relied on sex and manipulation to get what they wanted. During Odysseus' journey he and his crew members arrive on Circe's island they are enchanted by her and the sound of her voice, “But still they paused at her doors, the nymph with lovely braids, Circe-and deep inside they heard her singing, lifting her spellbinding voice as she glided back and forth at her immortal loom, her enchanting web a shimmering glory only goddess can weave.” (X:239-49) By letting themselves be seduced by Circe's beauty they enabled Circe to explore to explore their weaknesses allowing her to turn the men into swine. With the help of Hermes and a powerful potion, Odysseus was able to turn his men back and could have left the island at once. However, Odysseus became so enchanted with Circe that he enjoyed the luxuries of the island for a year, forgetting the fact that he wanted to return home. Odysseus is shown to be a very strong character who only has one goal, to return to his home but by letting himself be seduced by Circe, he showed just how strong Circe's act of seduction was. Calypso, a nymph-goddess, holds Odysseus captive on her island to make him her husband. 2.
She is seductive as well but is very manipulative. They quickly become lovers but Odysseus only thinks about returning home to Penelope: “Ah great goddess,” worldly Odysseus answered, “don't be angry with me, please. All that you say is true, how well I know....
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