Femininity In The Odyssey Essay, Research Paper
The many women that are included in Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, all are presented with a certain appeal to them for which they come to attract Odysseus’s eye. A group of the women that comes into contact with him are those helpful souls. Lets use Nausikaa as an example, she who encounters him when he arrives at her fathers land Scheria. Her charm, innocence and virtue are what intrigue Odysseus and she invites her to her home so that her parents can lend him a hand. On this same land Odysseus meets her mother, Arete who’s kindness act as a counter part to her husband and as a result of this she helps to bring about the expedition for Odysseus’s return to Ithaca. Eurykleia, who is a devoted nurse who has always been willing to help him as well as his son in anything they may need. Penelope, his wife serves as a symbol of fidelity, a perfect wife as well as mother, the only difference between her and the rest of the women is that she has lost her love to live as a result of Odysseus’s absence. One woman that isn’t really a human but a maternal shape and manages to have an impact on Odysseus is Antikleia. This is the mother of Odysseus who has an encounter with him in Hades. She tells her son of how his absence resulted in her death and how the zest for life that his wife once had is disappearing with time. All these women managed to have an impact on Odysseus, whether it was as a result of their innocence, kindness, or death, each’s femininity contributed to the safe return of Odysseus to Ithaca.
There are also the threatening women of this epic. On of them was Kalypso, a sea nymph, who’s only hope is to make Odysseus her husband and in return offers him immortality. With her presence she manages to show us that despite a mans temptation Odysseus is able to remain faithful to Penelope. There is also Circe who is able to get all men except Odysseus. Because of this she makes him her lover but still helps him return home. Then there are the Sirens who live on a flowery island and tempt passing sailors. Odysseus passes by this place while steering his ship home, he is tempted to go the Sirens while they sing an intriguing song. These three example of threatening women manage to show to the reader that these women are set as test towards the fidelity of Odysseus to Penelope. They too have their intriguing. Which are very distinct to one another but manage to grab a hold of him.
There is a rainbow of women represented in this epic poem. Even though there may be a great diversity among the women in themselves, they basically share the same role. They encounter Odyseeus and show him a better passage way to his way home. The difference between them show the reader that the women from this poem are not like any other. And that each have to work with the hardships of a man led society which includes hunting and warfare.