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I think that The Odyssey portrays two different types of woman. Women who are pro-marriage and pro-family and women who are anti-marriage and anti-family. Penelope for example, is pro-marriage and pro-family. She is a faithful wife to Odysseus and waited twenty years for Odysseus to return home from the war. She defends her home from the suitors who desperately want to marry her and inherit her wealth. Penelope raises her son Telemachus alone in the absence of his father and her husband Odysseus. She warmly welcomes guests and creates a home that embodies the ideal of civilization. Even with her husband absent she continues to uphold the stability and performance of their home. Her contribution to civilization and to her family is so great and her virtue will never die. She is a perfect example of a faithful wife who is pro-marriage and pro-family.
Calypso, the Sirens, and Circe, on the other hand, are the kind of women that scorns marriage and dishonors men. All they have is a great sexual desire. These women are an example of women who are anti-marriage and anti-family in The Odyssey. These women lure and capture men. They deprive them of their manhood and keep them away from their children and wives without any sympathy. In the story Calypso captured and kept Odysseus hostage on her island for seven years. She promised him immortality, the paradise of her island and the love of a goddess. Calypso never brings up the idea of marriage only the idea of living together and having a sexual relationship. She seemed to be completely anti-marriage. There was also never any mention of her ever having or wanting children. She had no desire for a family just sexual relationships with men.
The Sirens also divert men from their duties as husbands and fathers. They lure the men with their musical voices that distracts them from leading them to their way home. The thrilling songs of the Sirens transfix the men. In order for civilization to prosper, families need to grow and development in a healthy way. The homes also need to be permanent and stable. They require family oriented and faithful women like Penelope. The Sirens show no interest in ever having a permanent stable home or family. Circe also represents women that are anti-marriage and anti-family. She deprives men of their identity and seduces them with her spellbinding voice. She has a potion that she puts into the men’s drink and it takes away all motivation and willpower to do things. She as well lures men away from their duty of being a husband and father. Circe attempts to lure Odysseus to her bed and enslave him with the prize of her beauty and pleasure. Calypso, the Sirens and Circe deprive men of their masculinity by getting them intoxicated and taking advantage of them, dulling their memories of home, and delaying their journey homeward to their wives and children.
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