About Women in the Odyssey
In Homer’s The Odyssey, Homer shows the different type of women through gods and mere mortals. He shows a perfect woman, a monster, and a temptress. Different enviroments and situations influenced these women to be as they are. None of these women are wrong for being as they are but all of have flaws that need to be recognized and fixed.
Circe would be the monster or destroyer because of her cruelty and torture. In The Odyssey her home is well built with shaped stones, and set in a clearing. All around it were wolves and lions of the mountains. These lions and wolves were truly past men that wandered into her home which she turned into animals. Circe feels no remorse for her actions and gives no second thought about the families and friends of the people she transforms. That is a true monster. A thing that does something without thinking of the consequence and result of their actions. The only reason she lets Odysseus and his crew leave is because the results of her actions caught up to her and she needed to do anything to survive.
The temptress in this story would be considered Calypso.She is a goddess trapped on an island. She is keeping Odysseus from getting home to his family. She kept him there for seven years with her singing. Odysseus says she loved me excessively and cared for me, and she promised to make me an immortal and all my days to be ageless, but never so could she win over the heart within me.(254-258) Calypso being a god could have probably sensed she was not going to win him over and should have let him free to go to his family. With those seven she trapped him years he could have been home and might have skipped the troubles awaited him after.
Lastly, the loyal would be Penelope, wife of Odysseus. Penelope stood her ground her and fought the suitors and stood loyal to Odysseus. She never betrayed Odysseus even though she probably knew he slept with other women. If she did marry a suitor all of Ithica would have been in danger. Her suitor would become king and go rampart with power. In some ways Odysseus was the disloyal wife. He slept with women and had lapse in judgement on his journey home and even before the journey. It was very common in that time for men to sleep with other women but it does mean it was right however Penelope still remained loyal.