Penelope of the Odyssey

Topics: Odyssey, Marriage, Odysseus Pages: 3 (1169 words) Published: November 15, 2012
Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, can be compared in various ways to the other characters in Homer's poem The Odyssey. Many are the ways Penelope exemplifies the ideal woman, in that she conforms to the values and beliefs of her society. These include faithfulness, loyalty, willpower, pride in one's home and family, and generosity and openness to foreigners (Kline, 2004). The role women in ancient Greece had were reflected as inferior to men as they were never seen as heroes or fought in wars, rather they stayed home to look after the house and children. In Homers ‘The Odyssey’ women are portrayed as the opposite, he gives the women strength and power that is often held above the men. Examples is can be seen through Penelope and he power over the suitors, Athena and her power to disguise Odysseus (Kline, 2004) and Calypso who held on to Odysseus, making him stay with her for many years(Kline, 2004). Homer’s powerful female character is what makes the story what it is. Without the power of the women this adventure may not have happened and the story’s outcome would be different. Each of the female characters are made complex but none as much as Penelope. By playing the role of the mother and wife she is caring and loving to her son and is loyal to her husband (Kline, 2004). While doing so, homer also portrays her as a seductive female figure, while her intention is not to seduce as she is in love and awaiting the return of her husband, Homer depicts her as the most beautiful woman in Ithaca, and get attention from suitors who wish to marry her for her kingdom and beauty. While having the attention of the suitors, she promises to marry one but has no intention of engaging with them sexually. Though she has not seen Odysseus in nearly twenty years, and regardless of the amounting pressure to remarry from the suitors, Penelope still believes in waiting for her husband Odysseus. Her love for her husband is shown throughout the book. Penelope, cunning and wise but...
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