These strong female characters exercise emotional, as well as physical control over their male counterparts, a ND oftentimes use their feminine qualities to disguise their true motives. In fact, the female characters had been in control long before the end Of , and subtly influenced the plotting throughout the entire epic. This is particularly n detectable in the Tallahatchie, with Penelope treatment of the suitors. She tells the suitors the at once she has completed weaving a shroud for Odysseus’ father, she will remarry however t he text states that, “everyday she wove on the great loom but every night by torchlight she now e it” (2:1121 13).
Despite her subordinate role as a woman, Penelope puts herself in charge of her own fate. Penelope weaves to determine her identity and her fate, it is metaphorically a representation of her manipulation of the suitors, and of her wavering mindset. She clutches on to the idea that Odysseus will return home to Ithaca, butte she is not confident enough to el t the suitors slip Rossi away from her grasp. The concept of weaving connects to Helen of Troy who wove the events of the Trojan war, depicting her identity, and Athena who is in fact the goddess o f weaving.
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In this ease, Penelope is able to disguise her unfinished shroud as a womanly wean sees, when actually “… The weaving represents female cunning and empowerment. Like Circe and Helena, Penelope commands and controls her enchanted flock” (Van One, 16). Through this simple deceitful act of weaving and unwavering the shroud, Panel pop gains the upper hand, “She is not victimized by the suitors, nor is she pining away of r Odysseus. She is in a position of power and control. ” (Clayton, 106). Though she remains loyal t o her husband, she asserts her independence, refusing to allow her every action to be driven y the absence of her husband.
Yet she is not intimidated by the suitors forceful and aggressive attempts to win over her hand in marriage. Although, she does allows herself to indulge in the e attention of the suitors without committing infidelity, that is. And while her willingness to seed CE and entice the suitors is often viewed as a promiscuous and unfavorable quality, Penelope s succumbing to the flirtations of the suitors still do not even compare to the adultery committed by Odysseus. Twenty years they spent apart from one another, and obviously there was et mutation to pursue other people.
Odysseus gave into the temptation several times with Circe and especially Cal hypos with whom he had an affair with for seven years. In Book V of , Calypso addresses the double standards that exist between men and women in reference to apology moms love when she says, ” And so when Demeter the graceful one with lovely braids gave way to her passion and made with Jason, bedding down in a furrow plowed three times Zeus got win d of it soon enough, I’d say, and blasted the man to death with flashing bulbs” (5: 138142).
Essentially Rossi Calypso is saying that the female goddesses are castigated and shamed when hey pursue mortal men, while the gods are can have sexual relations with mortal women without t any negative consequences. Even when the relations between a god and mortal woman ca n be construed as rape, the gods do not receive any type of punishment or poor reputation. HTH s, it is not at all fair that Penelope is castigated for simply allowing suitors to admire her and seed CE her.
In a way, by being involved with the suitors Penelope is challenging the double standards, and leveling out the playing field between herself and Odysseus. Clearly Penelope has been tempted to pursue the suitors further, and yet she s able to hold back and restrain herself from being unfaithful to her husband. In Odds sees’ absence, “she resorts to both deception and self deception, just as Odysseus does. She hold s onto her basic self to her symbolic and imaginary constitution, by both subjective and interstate active dissimulation. But she goes about this in a more controlled, careful, and subconscious way t Han Odysseus.
She survives not by tricks or cleverness, but by a patient and difficult mixture of SE If control and self denial,” (Van One, 17). Basically, Penelope is better at controlling her urges, ND delaying gratification, also she does not stray far from her moral compass, which show s that she sis stronger person than Odysseus, and therefore making her more powerful, an d capable of manipulation. In addition to Penelope, Athena proves herself to be in control during the .NET re epic, and even at the status of a goddess, is compelled to mask her true identity and into mentions.
Athena never ceases to aid Odysseus and save him from harm and “not only does SSH e launch the narrative, she steers it as well, remaining in control of the plot throughout the poem, up to and including its conclusion” (Clayton, 25). Without Athena, Odysseus would never re have returned Rossi to Ithaca, she is the sole reason he managed to survive. More often than not however, Athena must disguises herself as a man in order to accomplish her goals. Were she to appear before powerful people as a woman she would be ridiculed.
She does however ape AR as woman a few times during the poem but each time it is strategic. For instance, Athena AP pears in Nausea’s dream as a woman who encourages Unusual to wash her clothes so that she i s more desirable for marriage. It is evident, that Athena uses her femininity to appeal to Nausea’s girlish desire for marriage. In addition, Athena also appears before Odysseus as a young girl did erecting him to the castle of the Phoenicians. In this case, Athena is playing up the innocence and gentle tendencies of young girls, so that Odysseus will trust her directions.
In addition, it is striking that Athena goes up against Poseidon, a god of great power, In her undying quest to save Odysseus. Poseidon has abhorred Odysseus, cause Eng him misery and misfortune ever since Odysseus blinded the Cyclops, Poseidon son. Athena however, ignores the wrath of Poseidon and continues to help Odysseus, convincing the other g odds that Odysseus must be released from Calypso. Her actions show how strong willed she is, an d show that she has more influence on Met. Olympus, than Poseidon.
Yet Athena is not even the e only goddess who defies Poseidon, and instead helps Odysseus, for the immortal Ion also s eaves Odysseus from perishing in Poseidon wrath when she offers Odysseus a veil which will proto etc him from the tumultuous sea, (5:381385). Here, Ion is yet another example of a woman do initiating a situation in spite of her subordinate role and expectations. As The Odyssey comes to a close, and Odysseus finally returns home, both Pee Nellie and Athena are in control of the entire situation, and practically determine the fat e of their male counterparts.
However, Odysseus believes that it is he who is dominating the situation. Athena Rossi exercises her power and control over the situations when she condemns each and every suitor to death. Odysseus wants to spare a fair, and deserving suitors life and tries to warn him of the upcoming danger, “but not even so could he escape his fate. Even then Athena a had bound him fast to death at the hands of prince Telemeters and his spear,” (1 8: 1761 78). Stereotypically, females are more forgiving and merciful, whereas men are more unsympathetic tic and harsh.
The fact that Athena is the one delivering such harsh punishment goes against all feminine ideals, and yet proves how powerful she truly is. Penelope too proves to be extremely influential and powerful during the close Eng scenes of the poem, she shows her strength, rectitude, and grace when the suitors become me malicious. From early on in the poem the suitors have been plotting against Telemeters, and ear the end of the epic Penelope finally lashes out against the suitors and says, “You Mutinous! Vi Lent, vicious, scheming, you, they say are the best man your age in Ithaca, best for eloquent CE, counsel.
You’re nothing of the sort! ” (1 6: 463465). Here, Penelope true temperament and me actions show, she is no longer hiding behind her weaving and coy flirtations. Her clear and bark Eng words against Mutinous show Penelope strength and confidence, and also her protective our gees towards her son. In no way are the suitors in control of Penelope, it is clear that she holds al the power. When Odysseus finally reaches Ithaca, Penelope does not simply fall at his fee t, but instead is clever and prudent about the return of her husband, testing his intent gritty.
When Odysseus enters his home disguised as a beggar, Penelope questions the truth h behind his words, which is similar to the The queen Art?s first encounter with Odysseus, “Both Aerate and Penelope demonstrate their cleverness by testing Odysseus before declaring themselves his allies: Aerate questions him about the clothing he is wearing, which she recon sizes as coming Rossi room her household, and Penelope questions the “beggar” about the clothing worn by Odysseus on his way to Troy (19. 161 8),” (Doherty 173 ). Penelope wants to determine whether this beggar has innocuous intentions and speaks truthfully of his identity, before s he allows herself to become vulnerable to him. Later, when Penelope discovers that the beggar is actually Odysseus in disguise, she remains guarded. As a powerful woman, in the presence of SE verbal men, she is reluctant to release her grip on control. Penelope was not easily fooled and in existed on slyly jesting Odysseus yet again.
She asks her maidservant to bring out her bed, w which only Odysseus knows is rooted into the ground, and only when Odysseus claims that the bed is unmovable, does Penelope release her grip on control. By testing and doubting Odysseus as h e offers himself to his wife after twenty years, Penelope authority and control over her husband d are evident. Ultimately, the female roles prove to be vital in the development and success of Odysseus’ journey. Without Penelope, Athena, Aerate, or Ion, there would never r have been a homecoming for Odysseus.