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Homer: Odyssey

4. Women, Clothes and Monsters

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about Odysseus' relationship with women in the poem, focusing in particular on the figures of Nausicaa, the Sirens, and Penelope, and the importance of clothes and clothing in symbolising the relationship between men and women.


In this course, Professor Barbara Graziosi (University of Durham) explores Homer's Odyssey. We begin by thinking about the figure of Odysseus himself, focusing in particular on his status as a man 'of many turns' (Greek: polutropos). After that, we provide a brief summary of the plot and structure of the poem, before turning in the third module to the workings of divine justice in the poem. In the fourth module, we think about Odysseus relationship with various women in the poem, focusing in particular on the importance of clothing, as well as the potential dangers of women – especially non-mortal women such as Circe or the Sirens. Finally, in the fifth module, we think about Odysseus' descent into the Underworld, thinking in particular about other literary journeys to the Underworld (Gilgamesh, Aeneas, Dante, etc.).


Barbara Graziosi is Ewing Professor of Greek Language and Literature at Princeton University. Her research focuses on ancient Greek literature and the ways in which audiences and readers make it their own, with a particular focus on Homeric epic and Greek representations of the gods. Some of her major publications include Inventing Homer (Cambridge, 2002), The Resonance of Epic (London, 2005), The God of Olympus: A History and Homer (Oxford, 2016).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Graziosi, B. (2018, August 15). Homer: Odyssey - Women, Clothes and Monsters [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Graziosi, B. "Homer: Odyssey – Women, Clothes and Monsters." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,