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The Position Of Poverty Essay, Research Paper

Listen, my lords. You have fastened on the house, in the long absence of its master, as the scene of your perpetual feasts, and you could offer no better pretext for you conduct than you wish to win my hand in marriage. That being the prize, come forward now, my gallant lords; for I challenge you to try your skill on the great bow of King Odysseus. And whichever man among you proves the handiest at stringing the bow and shoots an arrow through every one of the twelve axes, with that man I will go, bidding goodbye to this house which welcomed me as a bride, this lovely house so full of all good things, this home that even in my dreams I never shall forget.’

Question: how did the quest of Achilles affect women? consider penelope, elec tra, chrysothemis, hecuba, helen, lysistrata.

Answer: Achilles was not a wonderful blessing for women. Electra and Chrysothemis were the sisters of Iphigenia. Iphigenia was promised as the bride of Achilles so she would go to Aulis where she was sacrificed to Artemis. Helen’s husband Paris killed Achilles by shooting him in the heel with an arrow. Hecuba’s daughter Polyxena was scrificed on the grave of Achilles to satisfy his ghost. This sacrifice was one of the sacrileges that delayed Odysseus’ return to Penepole. Lysistrata was encouraged by the disgusting example of Achilles to stop the war.

Question: What are the strength and weakness of Penelope in Odyssey and of that time period?

Answer: Her great strength was her constancy. Her husband had left her well provided for. She was beautiful, and talented as well. Her main weakness was that she cried a lot while her husband was gone.

Question: Why was Penelope an exceptional Greek women?Thanks

Answer: Penelope waited for her husband to return from the war even 20 years. This is in spite of the fact that she had plenty of money and could have chosen another husband easily. In fact fifty or more suitors wanted, and expected her to do this. But she remained loyal to her husband. The first ten years was not so hard because there was news from Troy and Odysseus was always par of it. The second ten years was harder because Odysseus was hidden on the Island of Ogygia and everyone thought he was probably drowned.

Question: what is an Odyssey

Answer: An odyssey is a long wondering or series of travels like the journey the Odysseus took on his way home from Troy. An Odyssey does not have an interesting destination; the interest lies in the adventures along the way.

Question: How is Penelope diffrent from the role of women in Acnient Greek time

Answer: Penelope is a queen who possesses considerable property. She also determines who will be king. During the classical period there were no queens and women were not allowed to own property in most of Greece. When Clytemnestra was killed, the practice of determining the king by who the queen married, was ended.

Question: what is the role of the women in the Odyessy

Answer: The suggestion is that the Odyssey is the allegory of a heroic journey through life. Many of the women, then, represent the natural challenges that a life faces. Some of the women, such as Syclla and Charybdis are monsters representing natural forces. Other women, such as Circe, Calypso, and Ino are goddesses representing spiritual qualities. These goddesses, as well at Athena, hark back to a time when women held more power. Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, represents an ideal of constancy in mortal women.

Question: penelope’s role in the odyssey

Answer: One important role is that she anchors the kingship of Ithaca. At the time of the Trojan war kings were determined by a matrilinial scheme. Penelope was the queen and Odysseus became king by marrying Penelope. If Penelope were to give up on Odysseus then the man she married would become king of Ithaca. The wooers were hoping she would choose one of them.

She was also an example of the benefit of familial love. It was the case that during the Trojan wars many of the soldiers won women as prizes. The women thus won were no better than slaves. If they were valued for sex then they were used for sex. Some women were valued for their skills such as nursing, or cooking. These women became servants in the warrior’s home. Before the Trojan war Agamemnon and Clytemnestra were king and queen of Mycenae. They were separated by the Trojan war for over 10 years. You can only imagine how Clytemnestra must have felt when Agamemnon returned with Cassandra, one of the most beautiful and intelligent women in the world, as a prize. There was no familial love here. And if Agamemnon was to remain king he would have to keep Clytemnestra happy because of the matrilinial nature of his kingship. It is no wonder Clytemnestra killed him. Now compare this situation to the one with Odysseus and Penelope.

Penelope could have chosen a husband from one of the wooers. Her new husband would be king. He would then take care of her and kill Odysseus if he returned. Odysseus could have stayed with Calypso forever. But since Penelope and Odysseus shared a familial love for one another, she confounded the wooers, and he came home with gifts, but no women prizes.

Another role Penelope had was to recognize Odysseus. Because Penelope and Odysseus loved one another, their intimacy allowed her to know things about Odysseus that other persons did not know. She provided the test of the bow not to find which wooer was best, but to find which one was Odysseus.

Question: Why is Penelope being pressured to marry? Can she not remain single?

Answer: Penlope is Queen of Ithaca and whoever she marries will become King. She has the additional pressure of having to appease the wooers because they constitute an army stronger than her own. As long as she can keep them competing with each other they will not organize and become an army that defeats her. The leader of the wooers could conquer her, kill her, and declare himself king. It is to Penelope’s credit that this never happen


love and marriage

Question: what was the love life for the women?

Answer: There was quite a variety in evidence. During the classical period the wives of citizens were carefully secluded. This prevented affairs but it also prevented rapes. It was very important for these wives to have babies so they were probably kept pretty happy. They probably got all the sex they wanted, but did not have to endure extra demands. When the husbands wanted sex for pleasure they turned to the hetaerae, a group of women who served as entertainers, courtesans, and prostitutes. The hetaerae were not secluded and could accompany the men everywhere. One of the reasons that the women were secluded was that Greeks believed that the sexual pleasure for a woman was nine times that for a man so women were easily driven by sex.

The experience of women in Greece certainly was the broadest possible. Helen was the face that launched 1000 ships. Her story is full of romance. Clytemnestra plots and schemes and murders her husband and then is murdered by her son. Medea leaves her home for love and then has to fight to keep her husband. He feels so little for her that he dumps her for a younger women. She retaliates by killing his children and the other women. Penelope is so loyal to her husband Odysseus that she waits 20 years for his return from the Trojan war. Breseis is captured in the Trojan war and becomes Achilles’ love slave. Sappho wrote some of the most beautiful love poetry ever.

Question: what was the significance of nudity in ancient greek society?

Answer: Because athletes performed in the nude, nudity became associated with the ideal of perfection and strength. The concept of the heroic nude developed from this. Heroes were often depicted nude because of their strength and purity, even with others clothed. But this is not a concept that applied to women. Nudity in women was more associated with beauty as exemplified by Aphrodite. In this case nudity associated with purity suggested heavenly love rather than lust. Of course sexually involved couples are usually nude so nudity has also this association. One must be careful in the interpretaion of nudity, because nudity can strip a body of any identification or personality. The body then becomes an object and is depersonalized. The Greeks were very strong on tokens. A goddess is identified by the tokens associated with her. If the body appears nude and the tokens of a goddess are present then the nudity can be interpreted as the purity of the goddess. If the body lacks tokens, then the body has been stipped of its personality and demoted. The sacrifice of a virgin may be depicted as a naked body because we are focusing on the sacrifice and not on the personality lost. When the focus is sexual conquest then the personality may be unimportant. This type of interpretaton is important for a determination of the moral intent of the nudity.

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