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The significance of female characters in the progressof Homer's novel The Odyssey

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  • Essay length: 1298 words
  • Submitted: 26/08/2005
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AS and A Level Classics

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By Henri Robben

The significance of female characters in the progress

of Homer's novel The Odyssey

Women are very important figures in Homer's The Odyssey. Athena and Penelope are the two primary examples. They help Odysseus in his travels in many ways through the story. They keep the reader interested so that they keep reading to find out what will happen next. Throughout the novel, they appear in many different forms.

In this epic, several female characters had a profound effect on the plot. They wielded their influence through typically feminine skills and attributes: seduction, supernatural powers, intelligence, and beauty. Some of the women of The Odyssey influenced the actions of men, playing key roles in the epics, such as Athena, Penelope, Calypso, the Sirens, Helen, or Circe; all have been true, and in actuality, may be an entertaining interpretation of an actual Trojan War. Since the Trojan War supposedly started because of a dispute between the gods and mortals, the Trojan War probably started because of a reason other than the reason Homer gives. If Homer were a woman, then he would have directed his audience into believing that women were at a higher

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