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Women’s Roles in The Odyssey Books I-X

The epic poem “The Odyssey” by Homer is mainly about the quest of Odysseus’ son Telemachus trying to find his father and the journey of Odysseus trying to get home to his wife. Although that is the main part and main focus of the story, women play the other huge and underlying part in this poem. During that time in Ancient Greece, women were inferior to men and they did not play important roles. In The Odyssey, women like Athena and Calypso take care of the men. The women give them guidance and help. They are very powerful in the story and they are a bigger part of things actually happing then Odysseus and other main characters.

The women in this story play huge roles overall in the way that things actually happen. Women such as Athena, Penelope, Calypso, and Nausicaa really make huge impacts in this story. Some of the women are gods or immortal, and some or human or mortal. The goddesses play very demanding or controlling roles in the story.

In the beginning of the story, one of the main women that is a mortal character is Odysseus’ wife Penelope. She is a very smart and clever person. She has been waiting for years for Odysseus to come back to the palace and restore things. She was trying to be forced to remarry but “day by day she’d weave at her great and growing web-by night, by light of torches set beside her, she would unravel all she’d done”. (Book II P. 288) What was supposed to happen was once the web was done being woven she was going to get married but basically at the end of every night she would unweave what she did that day so that it never would get finished because she was waiting. This statement clearly shows how clever Penelope actually is. Despite the fact that she was eventually caught and was forced to finish weaving, it still shows how smart she is.

The almighty god Zeus has a daughter named Athena. She plays a huge roll in this story and is a major goddess of wisdom. She makes things happen...