On the basis of portraits of specific women, what can you say about the behavior the Greeks desired or feared in women?
This is a great one for the Discussion Board!
Penelope is probably the best example we have from the Odyssey of what was desired and feared in Greek women. She was a strong woman who very much knew her place in the world. She was soft spoken in public, but in private she had no trouble expressing her worries and dreams to Odysseus and most likely advised him in matters in private. She was a strong leader for other women as well once her husband was gone she showed great strength. She was powerful when she needed to be like when she was fending off the suitors until her husband returned, all the while being respectful of their position in the palace. She always did as she was instructed by her husband, which was his biggest fear. Odysseus told her that if he did not return before their son Telemachus began growing hair on his face that she was to remarry. He feared the worse when he returned home to find that his son was grown. He feared that she had been with another man. Her loyalty and her willingness to do as he wished became his greatest fear upon his return.