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The Odyssey: Faithfulness vs. Unfaithfulness

             In The Odyssey, Homer presents a double standard to the reader. While the author really applause the men who are unfaithful to their wives, the women remain faithful to their husbands. This concept is shown through the epic's two main characters, Odysseus and Penelope.
             Odysseus is unfaithful to his wife Penelope. Calypso, a goddess has captured Odysseus, the hero of Homer's epic poem, when his ship is blown off course. For seven years, she "keeps" him as her lover on her island, Ogygia. Although Odysseus longs for home, he does not truly resist nor object to her detaining him. Even when he knows he will be returning home the next day, he spends the time with Calypso, " .and now, with drawing into the cavern's clear recesses lay in each others arms they lost themselves in love."(5.250-251) Odysseus tells Calypso , "look at my wise Penelope. (his wife) She falls far short of you, your beauty, stature, she is mortal after all .yet I pine all my days-to travel home and see the dawn of my return." (5.239-241) .
             Ironically, Odysseus does not see himself as being "unfaithful" to Penelope. Odysseus sees Penelope as one of his possessions he will regain when he returns home. Even though Homer goes to great lengths to show Odysseus is a puppet who had really no choice, this does not minimize the hard fact Odysseus is not faithful to his wife, Penelope. Moreover, there is no clear evidence of Odysseus trying to outwit Calypso or Circe, the witch-goddess, who wants to take Odysseus as a lover in exchange for her help. In this epic, Odysseus is an intelligent man who is able to control his emotions and plan the best strategies to obtain his goal. Why doesn't .
             he think of a way to outwit Circe or Calypso? Instead, he almost meekly accepts this proposition without even considering Penelope's feelings or the undermining of his own marriage vows.
             On the other hand, Penelope, Odysseus's wife, remains faithful to her husband since he had left to the Trojan wars twenty years ago.

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