Femininity in the odyssey

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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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...