The Distaff Side: Representing the Female in Homer's Odyssey

Synopsis

Female Characters play various roles in the Odyssey: patron goddess (Athena), seductress (Kirke, the Sirens, Nausikaa), carnivorous monster (Skylla), maid servant (Eurykleia), and faithful wife (Penelope). Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, this study examines these different female representations and their significance within the context of the poem and Greek culture. A central theme of the book is the visualization of the Odyssey 's female characters by ancient artists, and several essays discuss the visual and iconographic implications of Odysseus' female encounters as depicted in Greek, Etruscan, and Roman art. The distinguished contributors--from the fields of classical studies, comparative literature, art history, and archaeology--are A. J. Graham, Seth L. Schein, Diana Buitron-Oliver, Beth Cohen, Sheila Murnaghan, Lillian Eileen Doherty, Helene P. Foley, Froma I. Zeitlin, H. A. Shapiro, Richard Brilliant, Jenifer Neils, and Christine Mitchell Havelock. Feminine in orientation, but not narrowly feminist in approach, this first interdisciplinary work on the Odyssey 's female characters will have a broad audience amongst scholars and students working in classical studies, iconography and art history, women's studies, mythology, and ancient history.

Additional information

Contributors:
Includes content by:
  • A. J. Graham
  • Seth L. Schein
  • Diana Buitron-oliver
  • Beth Cohen
  • Sheila Murnaghan
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1995