All of the heroines in the epic poem are one-of-a-kind. In "The Odyssey," the goddesses assume demanding and domineering roles. Athena is the most powerful, as she causes events to occur throughout the plot. The goddess's function is that of a supernatural creature, but more significantly, one who can pity and aid mortals. Aphrodite is next in line because she is responsible for love and beauty. She uses her power to help Odysseus win over Penelope. Hera is the queen of heaven and therefore the wife of Zeus. As such, she has unlimited authority on Earth; she can even destroy cities with a single glance. Like Athena, she has a role to play in the story but mainly serves to highlight mankind's weakness without Zeus' protection.
Overall, women have more power in the Odyssey because they can choose whom they marry or not marry. This right was taken away from them by their husbands or fathers before they were married. In addition, women can refuse sexual advances from men; if they do not, they will be seen as weak and unable to protect themselves. Men, on the other hand, could not divorce their wives and had no choice but to obey their husbands or be punished. Also, since women could not own property, they could not use this power to the same extent as men could. However, despite these limitations, women still have more power than men because they can withhold their love from people. If a woman does not care for a man, he would not know unless she told him so.
The Odyssey also has a large number of significant female characters who are used by Homer to depict various emotions or qualities. Other authors at the period sought to eliminate the presence of magnificent and strong women from their epics; Homer chooses to depict strength through the goddess Athena. The Odyssey contains many examples of courage, wisdom, and generosity shown by women.
Homer uses several different characters to tell the story of Odysseus' adventures. These include: Athena, Zeus, Poseidon, Teiresias, Calypso, Circe, and Penelope. Each one of these characters plays an important role in helping Odysseus reach home after being away for so long.
Athena is Homer's main characterization of wisdom and courage. She helps Odysseus out of many difficult situations during his travels and fights for him against other gods. Without her help, he would not have been able to escape from certain death on several occasions.
Poseidon is one of Odysseus' main opponents during his journey home. He tries to destroy Odysseus' ship with earthquakes and floods but fails each time. At the end of the poem, it is revealed that they had met before some of Odysseus' adventures took place. However, since then Poseidon no longer wants to fight him because he knows that Odysseus is the only human who can kill him.
Homer depicts Athena, the Greek goddess of knowledge, as a powerful yet compassionate lady, a kind of guardian angel. She persuaded Zeus, the ruler of the gods, to release him from Calypso's island. Then she helped Odysseus (a mortal man) survive many dangers on his journey home to Ithaca.
Athena is one of the few female characters in The Odyssey who has a name that can be understood by humans. Other women mentioned only by their father's names or nicknames include Eurycleia, who cooks for Odysseus at his palace in Ithaca; and Penelope, who waits for her husband to return from war.
Power lies with men in Homer's society, so it isn't surprising that most decisions are made by them. They select their leaders, choose their wars, and decide how to use their resources. However, some women do have power and influence. For example, Eurycleia runs the kitchen at Odysseus' palace and is responsible for feeding him and his soldiers when they arrive home after many years away from Ithaca.
Odysseus' wife, Penelope, can decide which of the suitors coming to her palace every day for marriage negotiations is the best looking or possesses the skills needed to run a large farm.