This paper discusses the role of female characters in the “Odyssey” and “Oedipus the King”.
This paper looks at how Sophocles and Homer portrayed their female characters in “Oedipus the King” and the “Odyssey”, respectively. The author examines how in both works women display superior qualities and are catalysts for action, but never the equals of men. The paper exhibits the Greek view of women as powerful, strong, necessary testers of heroes, but ultimately lesser creatures.
“In both Homer’s The Odyssey and Sophocles Oedipus the King the role of women is subordinate to the central male figures, as was the norm in Greek Society. Women were expected to follow established roles and Sophocles and Homer made sure that they did. Both works are named for the men who are the heroic focus, but both are structured around women who are essential to the artistic purpose. In The Odyssey, being much larger in scope, Homer presents a variety of female figures, while in Oedipus the King Sophocles offers mainly Jocasta to represent his vision of womankind. The Odyssey centers around the travels of a male hero, but it is women who provide the core of his adventures. Odysseus is trying to get home to his beloved woman, after the Trojan War, which was fought over a woman. Athena, a female goddess, literally guides and forms the action. Odysseus is a hero as his journey begins, but the women he meets, enlarge his quest for self knowledge and his heroism. Homer’s attitude toward women sometimes seems inconsistent, but he is simply depicting varieties of women in his world.”