Women In The Odyssey Essay

1033 words - 4 pages

In Homer's The Odyssey, women are looked at in two ways; as being the evils in the world and hindering on Odysseus's homecoming or as being loving and faithful. On his journey home, Odysseus weaves his way through many hardships and temptations that are created by the women he meets on his voyage back to Ithaca. Calypso and Nausikaa play a large role in representing temptation while Penelope represents loyalty for she was the only good and loyal woman who waited for Odysseus to return home unlike Clytemnestra who found a new lover.Calypso, a nymph from the island of Ogygia, took in Odysseus who had been shipwrecked after the Trojan War. After falling in love with him and wishing he would stay forever, she offered him the gift of immortality and becoming ageless. But after seven years of being her sex slave, Odysseus denied her for all he wanted to do was return home, considering he had not been there in over twenty years. When he first arrived he was overwhelmed by Calypso's great beauty and the beauty in the island. He was tempted to stay and not return home because she was so gorgeous and he had the chance of sleeping with her every night. But then Calypso fell madly in love with him and would persuade Odysseus into seducing her every night. And soon those persuasions would no longer work because Odysseus did not find it as pleasurable and force became her new way of performing the task. The following quote shows that Odysseus was no longer interested in having these kinds of relations with Calypso even though she still wanted to and achieved in doing so every night."The sweet days of his life time,Were running out in anguish over his exile,For long ago the nymph had ceased to please.Though he fought shy of her and her desire,He lay with her each night, for she compelled him" (page 85 line 159).This hindered on Odysseus's trip back because he had to resist her temptations since all he wanted to do was get home and see his wife Penelope. At this point getting home was top on his list of priorities. If he never would have landed on Calypso's island, then he could have gotten home a lot quicker and would not have had to experience the troubles of temptation which Calypso brought upon him.Hindering on his return home is the temptation Odysseus encounters when meeting a beautiful goddess on the island of Skheria. After leaving Calypso's island, Odysseus reaches the shores of Skheria where he lays down to sleep after a long adventure at sea and the next morning was awoken by the princess Nausikaa. The moment Odysseus sees the princess he falls for her instantaneously because her beauty was so great that he couldn't decide if she was a god or a mortal. Odysseus was so overwhelmed by her beauty that he stated "Never have I laid eyes on equal beauty/ in man or woman. I am hushed indeed" (page 103 line 172). This shows his...

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