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Women and Deception in Homer’s Odyssey

Female images in Odyssey are represented by Penelope, Athene, the beautiful nymph Calypso, insidious witch Circe, etc.

The characters of women are directly linked with the other theme in the poem – deception. Homer creates the split between divine power and mortal will in poem and exposes Odysseus to the power of both, the divine and the mortal will of women. Women help and obstruct Odysseus’ journey through fidelity, temptation, guidance, advice, and destruction. All of these efforts are directed to both keep Odysseus lost and help him return home. The theme of female deception is in place so that the women in the epic poem get what they desire.

Perhaps the most honest female character in the poem is Penelope. She is an example of the virtues of family and loyalty. For twenty years, she did not change her feelings for Odysseus and stubbornly believed in his return. Her position was very difficult, because she was surrounded by malevolent men, who wanted to marry her in order to obtain the royal power.

Penelope is a symbol of devotional feeling, the ability of creative imagination to make all the hardships on the way to the goal chosen by heart. However, we can find deception in Penelope as well – in her tricks to delay the marriage with one of the man.

Female deception is essential to keep Odysseus alert on his journey back home. He has the tenacious bond with his wife, the guidance from Athena, and the temptations of the sea, working for and against him. Homer puts these obstacles and distractions to show that men may be powerful, but they can and will fall victim to female deception.

Athena helps in guiding Odysseus and her words of wisdom help him during his journey. However, her deception is just as hidden as she is when she appears in front of Odysseus. Athena’s intentions are clear through her actions, but she always appears in disguise.

Homer’s views about women are woven into the story. Odysseus is eager to get home and though he cheats on his wife, but does he have a choice? He is cam ashore on the island of Aeaea and his men have been turned into animals. Women on the island were a distraction to Odysseus and his men, and in return they are set off course.

Circe gives the wine to Odysseus’ men turning them into animals, and in order to free them Odysseus has to make love to her. Of course, in this case his cheating is justified, but he once again was deceived by women, as the gods warned him about Circe’s wine.

Calypso is the embodiment of deception in the poem. Her intentions are selfish – she wants to marry Odysseus. She has the means and the power to help him return home, but she does it only when confronted by the council of gods.

Female images in Odyssey are represented by Penelope, Athene, the beautiful nymph Calypso, insidious witch Circe, etc.

The characters of women are directly linked with the other theme in the poem – deception. Homer creates the split between divine power and mortal will in poem and exposes Odysseus to the power of both, the divine and the mortal will of women.

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Assignment ID
100001123
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CREATED ON
August 26, 2016
COMPLETED ON
August 27, 2016
Price
$24
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