Women In Odytssey

Essay by crennoJunior High, 9th gradeA+, March 2004

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The role that women play in The Odyssey is one of power over men, that comments about Greek society during this time, saying that their society was a matriarchal society, when it was supposed to be a patriarchal society. In Greece during this time of about 700 B.C., they believed they lived in a patriarchal society, when in reality it was matriarchal. The Greeks society was so absurd because it was ridiculous that they did not have any clue as to who was really in charge and in command. In Greece, there was a prescribed rule that said men were in charge. In actuality, it was the ascribed rule that prevailed saying that women led Greek society. The ascribed rule that was so dominant during the time that Homer wrote this epic poem is also a central focus throughout The Odyssey.

There are many female characters in The Odyssey that demonstrate that the ascribe rule existed and that women had power over men.

One of these characters is Penelope. Penelope is Odysseus"'" wife and Telemachus"'" mother. Penelope is seen to have power over men with her interactions with the suitors, which clearly illustrates the ascribed rule. For example, Penelope promised the suitors that after she was finished weaving on her loom, she would choose a husband. '"'So every day she wove on the great loom- but every night by torchlight she unwove it; and so for three years she deceived the Akhaians'"' (Homer 22.112-114). This shows that Penelope has power over the suitors that want to marry her because she has the power to make the suitors wait. The suitors cannot decide whom Penelope will marry; she has to do that herself. By deceiving the suitors to believe that she will choose a husband after her weaving is...