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Wife of Solidarity, Wife of Destruction

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  1. Introduction
  2. Odysseus: A peculiar sort of hero
  3. Agamemnon's address to the deceased suitors
  4. Agamemnon's speeches
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

Every reader of the Odyssey shares something with the members of the first audience to hear the great tale. Every one has a mother. Also, most people in both groups will either have a wife, or be someone's wife. It is this overwhelming majority to which Homer speaks through one of the themes of the Odyssey. From the beginning of the epic to its end, the reader sees both Homer's ideal for betrothed women and his view on the drastic consequences that this ideal effects.

[...] All of Odysseus' conquests are for naught if he returns home to find his kingdom usurped. It is in the shade of Agamemnon that the reader sees the danger of an unfaithful wife. Agamemnon, though successful as a warrior, was brought low and to failure through the treachery of his wife. When Klytaimnestra struck him down, it was as if all of Agamemnon's conquests were for naught. It seems then as if the move form hero to tragic hero for Odysseus could be effected by a failure on Penelope's part. [...]


[...] Wife of Solidarity, Wife of Destruction Every reader of the Odyssey shares something with the members of the first audience to hear the great tale. Every one has a mother. Also, most people in both groups will either have a wife, or be someone's wife. It is this overwhelming majority to which Homer speaks through one of the themes of the Odyssey. From the beginning of the epic to its end, the reader sees both Homer's ideal for betrothed women and his view on the drastic consequences that this ideal effects. [...]

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