Goddesses Women Are Often Conflicted Term Paper
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Their sexual desire is as strong as their male counterparts, revealing much about the way women were viewed in ancient society. Women were not shown as chaste, innocent, or virginal. Prostitutes and single women both play major roles in the Epic of Gilgamesh and in the Odyssey. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, a prostitute transforms Enkidu completely with her sexual prowess. The power of female sexuality is explored in Homer's Odyssey too. The war hero meets and lives with several women on his way home to Penelope. Odysseus seems uniquely able to seduce women and many fall deeply in love with him: especially Calypso and Circe. Calypso and Circe are independent, unmarried women with strong sex drives.
The titular hero of Gilgamesh seems more enraptured with his burly male friend than with the females he encounters. Gilgamesh is not motivated by the love of a
woman, and unlike Odysseus is not married. When he rejects Ishtar, goddess of love, she takes immediate revenge on Gilgamesh with hurt pride. Because she is the goddess of love, Ishtar expects to have power over men by seducing them. Therefore, women are not just characterized as being motherly and kind, bearers of love and protection. They are shown to be every bit as vengeful and violent as men especially when they feel hurt. Women scorned abound in Homer's Odyssey, too, because the title character seduces so many only to leave them for his homeward journey. However, Athena and Penelope both remain strong and loyal female characters in the Odyssey. Odysseus' patient wife Penelope is portrayed as being highly intelligent, able to fend off annoying suitors and help Odysseus regain control of his household. The goddess Athena seems deeply indebted to Odysseus and helps the warrior return home safely.
Epic of Gilgamesh.
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Epic of Gilgamesh.
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