Odyssey Essay

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Although women occupied an entirely different position in society compared to men, they too held a certain sphere of influence and power; they simply exerted it in ways that were distinct from men’s strategies. By examining the character of Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, one can see just how women exerted their power and influence in The Odyssey and to what ends. Penelope uses clever cunning and sexual charm to toy with men’s emotions and to meet her own needs while she is waiting for her husband to return from battle. The types of strategies and her relative success in using them will be examined in this essay. Athena is the daughter of Zeus who helped Odysseus throughout his quests. She used many disguises to accomplish this. Athena has to take on numerous guises to try and give him advice without him knowing of her true nature. Most of these guises are that of males since it was considered wrong to take advice from females in that era, even if the advice is from a goddess. The goddess has to save Odysseus from many horrible circumstances, including his captivity on the island Ogygia, his close calls with Poseidon the earth shaker and the vicious suitors of which there were one hundred eight. All the while she plans how our hero will get back to his home in Ithaca. However, when he does finally return home Athena shrouds the place in a thick mist and tells him that he must disguise himself. Athena changed his appearance to that of an old beggar. Calypso is a sea nymph that imprisoned Odysseus for seven years on her island. She attempted to make him immortal to keep him with her forever. Calypso rescued Odysseus from the ocean, stranding him on her lonely ocean. She almost instantly became enraptured with the mortal and offered him immortality if he stayed with her. Odysseus stayed seven years with Calypso, breaking his vow to stay chaste until he

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