Women Portrayal

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In Jean-Pierre Vernant’s, The Universe, The Gods, and Men, women are primarily portrayed as seductresses. These women create problems for Odysseus in Homer’s story, The Odyssey. Some examples of this would be through women like Calypso, who held men against their will, Circe, a dangerous woman who practiced sorcery and the Sirens, who lure men to their death. All together these women caused many problems to Odysseus and other men. Throughout the Odyssey, women are used as a symbol of temptation and seduction. Odysseus finds himself trapped on an island Ogygia by the nymph, Calypso. Life on Calypso’s island is paradise to Odysseus but, after seven years of Odysseus being caught in Calypso’s seductive ways, the gods began to pity Odysseus. Hermes tells Calypso that she must release Odysseus and that his real wife was waiting for his arrival. However, Calypso desperately uses her seductive methods to convince Odysseus to stay with her forever by preparing a big feast of food. Although the big feast does not work on Odysseus and she let him go as Hermes had told her to do. Right before Odysseus is about to leave Ogygia, Calypso asks him why he chooses his wife over her and Odysseus says that she “is his wife, his life, and his country” (Vernant 114). Although Odysseus is given everything by Calypso, he still has more love for his wife. In the end Calypso’s way of suppressing men from going home did not work and Odysseus’s journey home continues. One of the most seductive, yet dangerous sorceresses in the Universe, the Gods, and Men is Circe. After Odysseus escapes from Calypso’s island, Odysseus has to deal with Circe, another seductive woman. Circe drugs Odysseus men and turns them into swine, making them forget about their home. But with the help of Hermes, Odysseus is immune to Circe’s drug. When her tricks do not work on Odysseus, she lures him into her bed. Meanwhile, Circe continues to use her feminine charm, which distracts Odysseus and his men from their...
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