Women In The Epic World Essay

2437 words - 10 pages

The role of women in the society is not clearly defined. There was a time, when women were on the top of the world. Then they were certainly more important because of their social functions than were men. However, the long-lasting period of Patriarchy came after the period of Matriarchy, and it completely changed the treatment of women in the world. For centuries, women have tried to find their place not only in a men-oriented world but also in a men-oriented art. It is well known that the literature is the reflection of society events. That is why the role of women in the epic world is a quite questionable topic.
The role of the woman had been changing with the change of epochs. ...view middle of the document...

However, Odysseus is not as pathetic as his crowd is. He shows a real male power by rescuing his team from Circe. By this episode, Homer explains that even how wonderful woman can be, the wise man always has the strength to stand against her spell. Another example of a woman who wants to rule men is Nausicaa. She believes that she can keep Odysseus beside only by a noble origin. “I am a daughter of a generous King Alcinous…"(VI, 2014). However, a brave man as Odysseus will never agree to be somebody’s slave. He is a man, and because of the gender, he could not fall into a woman´s arms in spite of all her wealth. With the help of Nausicaa’s description, author explains that love cannot be forced especially by woman. The third bright example of seductress is Calypso. She is a powerful woman, who keeps Odysseus during seven years on her island. She offers him immortality and all life goods, but Odysseus feels like a prisoner and wants to escape. “[Calypso] found him there on the headland, sitting still, weeping, his eyes never dry, his sweet life flowing away with the tears he wept for his foiled journey home, since the nymph no longer pleased. In the nights, true, he'd sleep with her in the arching cave - he had no choice - unwilling lover beside a lover all to willing…” (V, 167-172). By this example, the author shows that it is the male privilege to rule and when power goes to a woman it can be dangerous and it cannot bring any benefits for both. Calypso is an opposite character to an ideal Greek woman. Therefore, by description of this character the author emphasizes that woman has to be submissive and obedient; otherwise her power will be destructive. It reveals the role of woman in ancient society and proves the mind that women were valuable only to satisfy men´s physical needs, bring up children and perform domestic tasks. However, not all femalecharacters are portrayed in a negative way. Woman in the role of seductresses who wants to control men are contrasted with the image of a faithful wife and mother. That is why the most important female character in this epic is Penelope. She is an example of loyalty and devotion. Penelope is faithful to her husband even when she is not sure that he is alive. She performs different tricks with the suitors to not to become their wife. "So by day she'd weave at her great and growing web – by night, by the light of torches placed beside her,she would unravel all she's done. Three whole yearsshe deceived us, seduced us with this scheme"( II, 114-117). However, it is a little bit strange for us that Homer describes so faithful woman who waits for her husband and is alone for almost twenty years and at the same time shows, that Odysseus has close relationships with other women. “…She fell to weeping for Odysseus, her beloved husband…” (I, 419-420). “In the nights, true, he'd [Odysseus] sleep with her [Calypso] in the arching cave…” (V, 170 – 171). Nevertheless, it is a reality of Ancient time, when an...

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