Free «Roles of Women in Homer’s Odyssey» Essay

Roles of Women in Homer’s Odyssey

In the early part of the 20th century, the primary role of most adult women was to care for their family and home. The fact that it corresponds to reality is beyond any possible doubts. It was the main mission that the women were focused on. The family and their home were two the most important things having the leading role in women’s life. There was nothing else that could be of the same significance as the two key matters mentioned above.  By comparison, men more often worked outside the home for pay and assumed the role of the household head.

It was considered to be quite ordinary occasion when the males did not pay too much attention to bringing up the children and keeping the family hearth. They were mainly aimed at working somewhere outside in order to provide security and comfort for their household. Their basic goal was to stay at home and be responsible for household work; it was about women who had to look after the house and their little ones.

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However, and particularly over the past sixty years, women have progressively become more important in society and have turned the idea of taking leadership in the social, economic, and political life. The obvious thing is that the new so-called occupation of women appeared to be rather successful in sense of its ability to disclose all the advantages concerning to females. It is necessary to take into consideration the fact that the majority of the present women’s professions have absolutely proved their capacity to be opposed to various obstacles and serious social obligations.

The women’s character emerged to be quite enduring in certain situations requiring maximal concentration and the stable strategy on the way to overcoming the difficulties. The women have chnged dramatically since the last century. We can see some kind of radical transformation that has caused the rise of new understanding of the women’s significance. The emergence of ingoing opportunities that females possessed has resulted in us treating this part of the humanity not like we used to do before.

They did not give up displaying strong desire to fight for the right to have equal rights in comparison with the men.  Many famous writers have written about the role of women in  the society. This paper is going to analyze the roles of woman in Homer’s Odyssey and a novel Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald.

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In the Odyssey Homer brings us back to the society of his times, describing the role of woman in the society where he lived. In Homer’s society a woman hold very low status comparing a man. However, women play an incredibly large role in the poems of Homer. Reading an epic tale of Homer, we discover that there are quite limited presentations of women but many of them are assigned to the role of mothers. Moreover, without steady male hand, a woman, described by Homer, appears to be lost and inconsolable. In many ways, the value of father in the Odyssey is far greater than the value of mother.

Throughout the poem there are three types of women presented such as a goddess woman, a housewife and a seducer. The women who he uses in the text are Medea, Penelope, patient wife, and finally Clytemnestra. This example of three women shows another idea of a woman, which we used to hear. We can take as an example the first woman with the name Penelope. As for her, she is a beautiful woman and also passionate wife. In Homer’s poem, Penelope is a well-respected woman in her society. Homer compares her as golden Aphrodite.

Clytemnestra is a clever wife. She knows how to use her power and intelligence. She is responsible for her husband’s kingdom during his absence. Homer shows such type of wife which may be unfaithful to her husband. For example, Clytemnestra cheats on his husband with Aegisthus.

The example of destroying the life of man we may see in the character of Medea. Homer shows how Medea employs her intelligence as a means of manipulation. She has a strong personality which destroys men. She is a good example of goddess woman.

Homer portraits the women as physical creatures desiring only physical comforts. Describing and giving as the example of all these woman appeared in the Odyssey, Homer wanted to show to the readers that the woman were valued in society but they were not given important roles or any decisions which may have the power.

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Taking into comparison a novel Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald, he shows a role of women in a society in completely different way. He showed the changes, which came after 1920. Before the war a woman in a man’s eye was a good housewife.  Fitzgerald writes that after 1920 the women became a part of the night scene, partying and drinking more as well as dressing and acting more promiscuously. A woman, in accordance with what he shows to a society, believed that the economic and social status depends on a successful marriage. He described another woman. This is a woman, who starts working only until she got married. We can see all the scope of the sensitivity applied, first and foremost, to describe the problems that the woman explores when facing the new freedom of post-World War era.

To sum up, we have studied two authors with different presentation of the role of women in a society. They show a woman before a World War and after and how they have changed during these two periods.

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