And Contrasts Between Penelope, Kalypso, Klytaimnestra, Kirke, And Nausikaa In The Odyssey. Essay, Research Paper
This paper attempts to discuss the comparisons and contrasts between Penelope, Kalypso, Klytaimnestra, kirke, and Nausikaa in the Odyssey. All five of these mortal and immortal characters share a close encountered with Odysseus’ life. The goddess Kalypso takes Odysseus in her care when she saves him from the jaws of death at sea. Kalypso’s island was a place that “even a god found this place would gaze at and feel his heartbeat with delight”(OD.v.80.83). Even though Kalypso held back the “heart groaning” Odysseus from returning home, she makes every attempt to cater to his every need.
Somehow I can compare Kalypso to Penelope in that the goddess shares this strong bond for Odysseus as well. A bond that holds a husband and a wife together. The women are both in love with Odysseus. Just as Penelope yearns for Odysseus return home, so has kalypso for Odysseus to stay with her in her divine place of beauty. Both women have learned some of Odysseus ways; ways in which Kalypso and Penelope have encountered close relationships with Odysseus. Kalypso and Penelope show signs of faithfulness to Odysseus. For example, Kalypso is faithful in that she protects him from harm, and Penelope keeps this remembrance of her husband which keeps her for marrying any other man.
Kalypso and Penelope are heart-broken by the decisions of the gods for Odysseus departure of them both, kalypso makes reference to this when she confronts the goddess Hermes and says:” oh you vile gods, in jealousy supernal! You hate it when we chose to lie with men immortal flesh by some dear mortal side”( OD.v.120.84).
Even though Kalypso and Penelope share some similarities, on the other hand they are different in so many ways. Kalypso is immortal, and Penelope is mortal. Kalypso can offer Odysseus the life that every human-kind dreams of having, and that is to stay forever young and never die. “I fed him, loved him, sang that he should not grow old, ever in all the days to come”(OD.v.140.-150.85). Whereas Penelope does not have the option of a life of immortality.
Kalypso holds certain magical powers over Penelope. Kalypso holds the desire to be with a man of flesh and blood, and to find a husband who’s already married. Penelope will forever be connected to Odysseus because they share a special bond together, and that is their son Telemakhos. On the other hand it is forbidden for a goddess to have any physical contact with that of human-kind. Penelope traps herself in her own little world of thought, while kalypso shares all the pleasures of Penelope s husband. “Though he fought shy of her and her desire he lay with her each night, for she compelled him” (OD.v.160-170.85).
Odysseus’ encounter with Kalypso has enabled him to share close moments with a goddess. Being trapped on Kalypso island has taught Odysseus the true meaning of marriage, and that is when two people become one. Odysseus has proven to Kalypso that life of flesh and blood is worth living and dyeing for. The strong love that Odysseus has for his family keeps him to stay alive in a world which is filled with trials and tribulations.
Klystaimnestra, Agamemnon s wife is compared to Penelope as being” too wise, too clear eyed, sees alternatives too well” (OD.Xl.510-520.199). Both women were young bridges when their husbands sailed off to war, and gave birth to sons. Nevertheless they were left in the same position of loneliness, not knowing if their husbands were going to make it back from the war or not. Loneliness leaves them in a position of being a “true wife”. I cannot say that these two women are heart-broken, but surely they must have felt so type of insecurity, insecurity of not having a father figure around as a positive role models for their sons.
On the other hand Klytaimnestra, and Penelope were different in so many ways. Agamemnon’s wife was thoughtless and cruel. It was Klytaimnestra who helped to design the death of her husband (OD.Xl.470-480.198). Penelope shows signs of trust and loyalty to her beloved Odysseus.” The gods forever took my sheen away when my lord sailed for Troy in the decked ships” (OD.Xvlll.220-230.341). Kyltaimenstra not only show signs of distrust but losses her name, honor, and respect as an Akhaian. Penelope values her name, honor, and respect when she continues to seek hope in Odysseus return.
Odysseus learns through Agamemnon that women are not to be trusted, not even your wife with whom you suppose to share even your most personnel secrets with. Agamemnon even shines light on Odysseus when he compares his wife with Odysseus s wife. Odysseus war friend foretells that the future of Odysseus will be a risk for him by his own wife (OD.Xl.510-520.199). Nevertheless Odysseus follows his plan of returning home to his wife, but in the back of his subconscious mind he holds up this wall of protection.
Kirke and Penelope are both powerful, beautiful, and they grow. Kirke also weaves, she weaves on a level to find time and long enough to find a husband as well. : Dear friends, no need to stealth: here s a young weaver singing a pretty song set the air (OD. X.240-250.172). Both women seem to hide themselves from the outside world, when they imprisoned themselves in a chamber of love. This chamber of love has given them nothing but solidity and misery. Their many years of not haven t a man around almost leads them to self-destruction. It is self-destruction which causes them to loose interest in ones self. Just as Penelope Yearns for her lord Odysseus, so has Kirke to take Odysseus man-hood. He in this house you turned my men to swine; now it is I myself you hold enticing into your chamber, to your dangerous bed, stripped (OD.X.380-390.175).
Nevertheless, it is Kirke s sinister witchery ways, which separates her character from Penelope. Odysseus, master mariner and solider, you shall not stay here against your will; but home you may not go (OD.X.540-550.180). I consider Kirke to be more powerful then Peneople Kirke stalks and preys on what she wants, Whereas Penelope sets herself up in this imaginary world. It is Kirke s love portion, which takes away Odysseus man-hood, but it is Penelope s mind and heart which values for her and Odysseus to be together. Kirke is a very unpredictable character, but on the other hand the reader can pretty much suspect Penelope s next move.
Kirke s encounter with Odysseus has leaded him into believing the trickery ways of women, even in a goddess. Even though Odysseus has been forced to do things that he doesn t want to do. He still hold this powerful state of mind, a state of mind which still connects him to this homophrosyne marriage he has with Penelope. Not only does Odysseus have a strong mind, but also his heart has able him to keep this positive emotion when he comes into close encounters with other women of the Odyssey.
The only comparisons that I could find between Nausikaa and Penelope is that both women seek to found a husband that is handsome and strong. Many come to court them both. On the other hand Nausikaa is this young beautiful princess whereas Penelope is more experienced than the princess. Nausikaa shows interest in Odysseus, I believe to be intimate moments
Odysseus encounter with the princess sets his mind off of Penelope for a little while, but he is destine to return home to Penelope. The gods has shown Odysseus the both of