Essay Preview: Odyssey
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The legend of The Odyssey tells the fortunate homecoming tale of the Trojan war hero, Odysseus. In the poem, there were similarities, yet many contradictions. There were many great women that had conflicting personalities and adverse motives, but also they were alike. There were many great men that hold successful fortune, but here were also ones that failed. With these oppositions they helped Odysseus to get back home to Ithaca, whether they wanted to or not. These women from the novel that have opposing qualities, yet help Odysseus get home and finish off the suitors, are Penelope and Clytemnestra, Circe and Calypso, and Eurycleia and Melantho.
This similarity of situation: Agamemnon = Odysseus; Orestes=Telemakhos.
Clytemnestra is a disloyal wife and a cruel woman, while Penelope is a devoted spouse and a wonderful lady. When King Agamemnon goes away to fight at Troy, his wife, Clytemnestra, has an affair. When he returns, she kills him, not even letting him see his son after ten long years. “Poseidon did not drown me in the sea, no enemy struck me down on dry land; but Aigisthos plotted my death with my accursed wife…”(132). Meanwhile, when Odysseus goes to Troy, his wife Penelope is loyal for twenty years. Clytemnestra also kills all of Agamemnons friends and followers, while Penelope had rude suitors in her house and she never once harmed them for the three years that they ate her out of house and home. The one thing that the two women has in common was that they are both very witty and smart; Clytemnestra for planning the massacres and Penelope for the weaving of the shroud. “…I used to weave the web in the daytime, but in the night I unravelled it by torchlight. For three years I kept up the pretence, and they believed it…”(216). With their conflicting personalities the women did help Odysseus to return. When Agamemnon told Odysseus Clytemnestras tale in the Underworld, it makes him think about what his wife is doing and it gives him an extra push to get home. In Penelopeias case, Odysseus hopes that she would remain faithful and he wants to get home to his loyal wife. Both women have many conflicting personality traits, but their actions give Odysseus a reason to hurry up in his homecoming.
Although Circe and Calypso are both goddesses and both keep Odysseus in their homes, their personalities are different yet they both help Odysseus to arrive home faster. Circe is rude and means harm to Odysseus and his men when they first arrive, but Calypso welcomes Odysseus with open arms. Though she has cruel intentions when they arrive, Circe didnt force Odysseus to stay at all and he stays on his own will. Calypso, though, keeps him prisoner on her island and would not release him till the other gods force her to. The one thing they have in common was that they both fall in love with Odysseus and want him to stay with them. Even though Circe wants Odysseus to stay, she said, “I would not have you remain in my house unwillingly.”(122). Now after she says this, she tells Odysseus to seek the blind prophet Teiresias help in the Underworld. Without the prophets help it would have taken Odysseus a lot longer to reach his home, Ithaca. So Circe helps Odysseus get home faster, willingly. In Calypsos case she does not want Odysseus to leave. “…If you knew the troubles you will have before you get to Ithaca, you would stay where you are and keep this house with me, and be immortal…”(66). Calypso tells Odysseus that if he stays with her, that she will make him immortal, but he refuses. She helps him build a raft and supplies him with food for his journey, making his journey easier. Both goddesses treat Odysseus differently and in result