Summary On Odysseus Essay Research Paper John

Summary On Odysseus Essay, Research Paper

John Harris

February 4, 2001

English 207 (World Literature)

Dr. J.K. VanDover

Finley, M.I. The World of Odysseus. New York: Viking Press, 1978: 126 ? 129.

Synopsis:Finley is expressing through this work how the women of the Greek culture were not as important as the men. Finley has broken this work down into four sections of the Greek culture: Bedmate, Philein love, same sex relationships, and father & son relationship.

Summary:Finley opens this work speaking on how the Greek culture does not use the term wife, instead they use the term bedmate. Finley then explains how it was a man?s world and how it is one in which the inferior status of women was neither concealed nor idealized. There was also no specific meaning for the words husband and wife.

In the next section Finley uses the word, Philein, this word means to love. ?It was used in every context in which there were positive ties between people?(126). This section also discusses how monogamy was the rule for marriages. Divorce was unheard of in the Greek culture. There was only one instance when Hephaestus threatened to return his adulterous wife, Aphrodite, to her father (127).

In the third section Finley is explaining the importance of same sex relationships. This section is explaining how the Greek man had feeling for the opposite sex, but his feelings for the same sex were stronger. ??there are no similes drawn from a husband?s joy in his wife? (127). In Greek culture we hear more about the Greek man being overcome with grief as a result of the loss on another man, not as a result of the loss of a women. Finley states that, ? Neither Greek practice nor Greek ethics, therefore, would have seen anything inconsistent or unlikely in the coexistence of an erotic relationship between heroes and their vaunted prowess with the opposite sex? (128).

In the final section of this work by Finley, Father and son relationships are discussed. It is explained that the reason for father?s and son?s closeness is due to the fact that the women ?are limited in their function to the production of offspring and the performance of household duties, and that the meaningful social relationships and the strong personal attachments were sought and found among men? (128).

Finley, M.I. The World of Odysseus. New York: Viking Press, 1978: 126 ? 129.


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