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This ideal woman is someone who is gentle, serene, and intelligent, however not someone who will start trouble. This shows how the patriarchy was enforced, through the idea of women being submissive to men.

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The Penelopiad was written in and puts a more modern spin on the character of Penelope. This interpretation of Penelope is told from her point of view, which we do not see in any other representation. In The Penelopiad , Penelope has much more agency than she does in any other version of the story. This takes a new spin on Penelope weaving the shroud. It shows her playing an active role not only because she is speaking directly to the reader, but also because she says when she told the story later, she would say that Pallas Athene had given her the idea, but she seems uncertain that this was the case [30].

This implies that Penelope was intelligent enough to come up with the plan on her own, however leaves it open to the beliefs of the reader. This connection is what was missing from many other versions of the character, specifically in Ancient Greece, because rather than empowering women to be like Penelope, the character was used to show women their shortcomings. Penelope is a fascinating character who influenced women throughout the ages. From Homeric Greece to the modern day, she has been reinterpreted.

At first, she was seen as the ideal wife, which women should strive to be like, but was often used to bring up their shortcomings. She was intensely loyal, which is what a wife in Ancient Greece was supposed to be, as there was a fear of female sexuality. Penelope was also viewed as highly intelligent and cunning, which was unusual at the time, as women were generally seen as inferior and unable to think for themselves, always requiring a male supervisor. This intelligence can be seen through her weaving of the shroud. She is a character who has been continually reimagined through the centuries in the form of paintings, operas and novels.

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Penelope is a fascinating character from Ancient Greece and continues to fascinate scholars today. Atwood, Margaret Eleanor. Felson-Rubin, Nancy. Regarding Penelope: From Character to Poetics. Gallery, London The National. Accessed October 13, Heitman, Richard. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, Accessed November 15, Translated by Robert Fitzgerald. Lefkowitz, Mary R. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, MacDonald, Calum. Tempo , no.

The Odyssey Essay | Eumaeus, The Odyssey’s Ideal Man | GradeSaver

Morford, Mark P. Lenardon, and Michael Sham. Classical Mythology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Accessed November 16, Lefkowitz and Maureen B. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, , Morford, Robert J. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.

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Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Penelope and the Mourning Shroud Penelope is depicted as cunning and highly intelligent. Penelope as the Ideal Wife Penelope was written to portray the image of the ideal wife. Statue of Penelope dating to BC, carved in white marble. And now the pain around her heart benumbed her; chairs were a step away but far beyond her; she sank down on the doorsill of the chamber, wailing, … [20] These displays of emotion show just how much Penelope cares for her family.

Penelope in Modern Representations Penelope has been continually recreated in art and literature for centuries.

A Translator’s Reckoning With the Women of the Odyssey

Through Odyssey, we gain an understanding of what is proper or improper in relationships between father and son, god and mortal, servant and master, guest and host, and--importantly--man and woman. Women play a vital role in the movement of this narrative. Unlike in The Iliad, where they are chiefly prizes to be won, bereft of identity, the women of Odyssey are unique Restrictions were placed on the social and domestic actions of many aristocratic women in ancient Athens.

The women depicted in Homer's Odyssey, on the other hand, are the ideal. Penelope, Clytaemestra, Athena, and Helen are all women with exceptional liberty and power. Before comparing the women of the Odyssey to those of Athens, it is beneficial to take a look into the lives of the latter. A respected woman was to have characteristics including obedience, virtue, refinement, productivity, honor, beauty, talent and intelligence social consciousness.

Sarah B Greek Women in The Odyssey. Greek Women in The Odyssey Length: words 1.

Open Document Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper. Need Writing Help? The Odyssey By Homer. Search Term:.

Youandewan - Ideal Passage [AUS131]

The goddesses in The Odyssey just like all other Greek gods and goddesses are representatives of the human race. In his work, Homer represents the ancient Greek women by using the characters in The Odyssey such as Penelope, the housemaids, and the goddesses. He uses each of these three to represent the different positions of women in that time.

The Odyssey helps us see what life was like for women back in ancient Greece. In translating this passage, I wanted to bring out both the beauty and the precision of the imagery, and the horror—a common, relatable horror—of being a woman who experiences her attachment to her husband as the destruction of her self. I wanted the reader of my English to feel as I do in reading the Greek: for Penelope, and with her pain, rather than prettifying or trivializing her grief.

All this may make Penelope seem like an innocent victim, but she is also a woman of privilege, who colludes in, indeed insists on, the silencing of more vulnerable women. After Odysseus slaughters her suitors, he tells Telemachus to kill the female slaves who have slept with them.

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Contemporary translators and commentators often present the massacre of these women as if it were quite ordinary, and entirely justified. There is a vision of empowered femininity in the Odyssey, but it is conveyed not in in the mortal world but in that of the gods.

The divine Calypso, Aphrodite, and Circe provide passionate models of female power—idealized fantasies of how much agency mortal women might have, if only social circumstances were completely different.


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  4. The Odyssey traces deep male fears about female power, and it shows the terrible damage done to women, and perhaps also to men, by the androcentric social structures that keep us silent and constrained. Birds in Homer are the ultimate image of speech and of freedom.

    Athena repeatedly transforms herself into a bird of prey, whooshing up to the rooftops or surfing across the waves of the sea.