The Odyssey and the Penelopiad

The Odyssey and the Penelopiad

The reader’s response to a text is influenced by his/her understanding of the author’s contextual impacts and the time during which the text was composed. Context plays an essential role in establishing plot and how meaning is formed throughout the text. By analysing The Odyssey and The Penelopiad, the reader gains a powerful insight into the Ancient Greek period that is main to Odysseus’s plot. Through a close research study of both these texts, composed centuries apart, much can be found out about the evolution of society and its perception, as well as those values that have been retained.

Homer’s The Odyssey was made up during Archaic Greece, the period of massive technological development, and the shift from a monarchical to democratic political system, that covered 800-500 BCE. In contrast, Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad was written in 2005, almost 3 thousand years after the construction of Homer’s legendary. Developments in culture and society reveal the differences that existed during Ancient Greece, and the development of peoples towards today’s modern-day society. A problem of particular significance is the attitude towards gender equality and treatment of women in society.

Margaret Atwood is recognised for her exploration of gender concerns as an essential part of her literature, specifically as the novella was written after the climax of 1960s feminist motion. The movement looked for to remove gender equality from society and draw the difference in between sex and gender. This is checked out in The Penelopiad, where mindsets towards gender equality and relationships is highlighted throughout many specialists of the novella. In particular, the accepted process of set up marital relationships shows the powerlessness of females during this time.

As Penelope studies all her suitors, she states she is “trying to determine who each was one … because it wasn’t approximately me to choose my other half.” Penelope’s indifferent tone reflects her powerlessness in her state of affairs and accepts her position as the woman in her household. Set up marital relationships were the standard in Archaic Greece, as husbands would bring wealth, land and power to the household. By understanding the patriarchal society of the time, the reader is able to compare Archaic Greece to modern society, where marriages are commemorated instead on the basis of love.

Regardless of the feminist views that develop from Atwood’s The Penelopiad, Homer celebrates his female characters through their important definitive positions. Significant ladies throughout The Odyssey include the goddesses, as well as a number of mortal women who show to be vital to the advancement of plot. Whereas guys were depicted as filled with guts and strength, women such as Athena and Helen are sensible and intelligent characters. In specific, Penelope, Odysseus’s other half, misguides all the suitors who woo her, anticipating Odysseus’s impending death after ten years. By pretending to weave a burial shroud, she deciphers her work at night to purchase her more time. Would weave that mighty web by day; but then by night, by torchlight, I undid what I had done” The use of alliteration, through repeating of ‘w’ and ‘b’ sounds, shows Penelope’s repeated weaving and unravelling of the shroud. Her wit is also admired by her suitors, who state that, “her head loaded with pride to think how Athena had been generous to her … given her skill in lovely work and good intelligence and cleverness such as never ever was heard of …” A number of Penelope’s actions show her knowledge that proves her loyalty to Odysseus and enables her to be appreciated even by those who try to win her heart.

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  • Women In The Odyssey

In spite of the focus of female mindsets in The Penelopiad, the initial text reveals that ladies continue to play an important function in society. Nevertheless, this view of female equality is affected by the reader’s immersion into the 21st century, where feminism is a problem that controls numerous aspects of our lives, typically implicitly. Political organisation during Bronze and Archaic Greece played a crucial function in social development during the time.

Bronze Age Greece count on a monarchical, and somewhat totalitarian control of the city-states or poleis, and following stylish competition, which form the origins of the Olympic Games. On the other hand, Archaic Greece saw a shift towards democratic rule and resulting intellectual advancement. Homer’s The Odyssey, an oligarchic system of rule is heavily, with power at the very top bestowed to gods and goddesses, such as Zeus and Athena. Homer often tells his story from the viewpoint of the gods, “My kid, Zeus … responded” and “Athena … exulted …’Daddy, child of Cronus'”.

The changing perspective utilized by Homer highlights Man’s subservient relationship with the gods and their impact on society and actions. Through this frequent recommendation to activity of the Gods, the reader understands the omnipotence that gods hold over humans and recommends that Homer viewed his work as inspired or directed by magnificent forces. It reflects the heavy belief of supreme gods during Homer’s Archaic Greece and their control over life and Earth. Margaret Atwood provides a rather varying view of gods and their control over Earth.

In The Penelopiad Atwood develops the moment where Penelope is deceased and views Earth from the 21st century through Hades, the Greek Underworld. Regardless of the negative connotation that emerges from this viewpoint, Atwood utilizes a dismissive tone that is ironic to the content that she is telling. “Upstaged by a lot more incredible facility down the roadway” serves to decrease the significance attributed to Hell from a Christian perspective. Usage of words such as “spectacle” and “unique effects” suggests that the Underworld is simply a show that stands to serve for the enjoyment of others.

The tone utilized by Penelope is indifferent and characterises both Hades and Hell in a carnivalesque way. The contrasting attitudes of Homer and Atwood towards treatment and respect of the gods is demonstrative of the development of modern society. Throughout Archaic Greece, gods and goddesses were the equivalent of Christianity in today’s society, and were aptly seen by these particular composers. The altering context of these authors has not only changed the method the composed their texts, it likewise moves the method we analyze them, from a modern day point of view.

Both Homer’s The Odyssey and Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad explore the story of Odysseus and his journey home to Ithaca. Nevertheless, their differing viewpoints offer an insight into how context can forming our analysis of texts. From the analysis of these 2 texts, it proves that contexts is a predominant factor that is crucial to our research study and contrast of texts, as it enables us to draw significance and analyze what message the

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