Masculinity and Femininity in The Odyssey


Masculinity and Femininity in Homer’s “The Odyssey”

The major writing assignment for this week is to compose a 500 or 600–word paper that analyzes how gender—masculinities and femininities—is portrayed in TheOdyssey. One way to approach this assignment is to consider how male characters think and speak about female characters (human and/or divine). How do the males treat female characters? How do the female characters treat the males? What patterns emerge? Based on those patterns, can you identify models of femininities and masculinities in The Odyssey? In other words, are particular behaviors, conditions, or roles associated with men but not women and vice versa? Second, analyze at least two major male characters. What does this reveal? Now carefully consider two female figures (human and/or divine).  How are they represented? Using the data that you gathered, describe what the ideal ancient Greek woman and man might have been like. Next, decide if any of the female and male characters violate rules that apply to women’s and men’s behavior and, in so doing, offer the audience negative models of gender. Reflect on The Odyssey’sending—who wins and loses and why? What do the ultimate fates of the female and male characters reveal about ancient Greeks’ ideas about gender?

Do not simply answer all these questions in order to develop your paper. These questions are designed to catalyze critical thinking, and you should use the writing process described in the online lectures.

As you prepare to write this week’s paper make sure you understand how many things you are being asked to do.

Develop a Tentative Thesis

  • How is gender portrayed in The Odyssey?
  • With regard to gender, what do different elements of The Odyssey (such as genre, epic, myth, or hero) reveal about the culture, era, region, or important philosophies and values?


Choose one of the prewriting techniques discussed in chapter 3c, “Invent and Prewrite,” of The New Century Handbook and begin prewriting.

Rough Draft

Write your rough draft.  You are not required to submit it, but you should get in the habit of writing one for every ou compose in this and other classes.

Revise and Edit

Proofread the rough draft to check if the

  • Thesis is clear and well focused and the introduction includes all the necessary information.
  • Discussion of evidence includes quotes, paraphrase, or summary and synthesizes this material and your ideas.
  • Conclusion is appropriate and reinforces the paper’s main ideas without repeating the introduction word for word.
  • formatted in APA style throughout and it uses appropriate grammar, spelling and mechanics.
  • Quoted material does not exceed 25%

Make any changes necessary to ensure it is polished and persuasive.

Double check your final copy for spelling and grammar. Name your document S_W1_A3_LastName_FirstInitial.doc. By , May 6, 2013, submit your final draft in a Microsoft Word document to the W1: Assignment 3 Dropbox.

Assignment 3 Grading Criteria Maximum Points
Wrote a complete introduction that engages your classmates’ interest, explains the topic, provides a detailed thesis that identifies your argument, briefly states the main evidence, and maps the paper for your audience. 10
Used literary terminology, such as genre, epic, myth, and hero in your discussion of evidence. 10
Used key passages and quotations from the text in your discussion of evidence, limiting the quoted material to 25% 10
Examined in your discussion of evidence what the text suggests about the culture, era, and region in which it was developed. 10
Considered in your discussion of evidence philosophies and ideologies that influenced the text. 10
Organized the paper effectively with unified paragraphs, each of which has a topic sentence and effective transitions to the next paragraph. 10
Provided an appropriate conclusion that reinforces the paper’s main ideas without repeating the introduction word for word. 10
Met the word requirement. 10
Communicated clearly using your own words for the majority of the paper with correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling throughout. 10
Formatted the paper in APA style throughout, including a title page, running head, headings between sections, in-text citations, and a reference list. 10