An Analysis of the type of Penelope from Homer's Odyssey in Penelope as Moral Agent by Helene Foley

In her essay "Penelope as Moral Agent," Helene Foley attempts to go over Penelope, a major figure in Homer's the Odyssey, in conditions of Classical Athenian portrayals of girls and, as her name suggests, in conditions of what she phone calls a "moral agent." In her introductory paragraph she lays away guidelines simply because set down by Aristotle and his contemporaries that constitute a moral agent: the character must generate an ethical and moral decision "which the actions turnswithout critical understanding of the circumstances" (Foley 93). To the end, Foley in the end decides that Penelope meets these standards and brings that her cultural, familial and personal responsibilities play integral functions to make that decision. Foley's good examples and her in-depth examination of the Odyssey all support her thesis as I've interpreted it to become. There are, however, problems in her evaluation of the Odyssey and exterior texts (especially that of Carol Gilligan), inconsistencies in citations and design, and good examples that either have little or nothing in connection with her thesis.. The greatest trouble with this essay that I possibly could find is the ignorance of a few points that may be construed to be in opposition to her results.

Since I am not familiar with and also have not read the outside texts to which Foley refers (Aristotle's Oedipus Tyrannos, Poetics, Politics, and Ethics, the Hippocratic medical texts, and the feminist theory of Carol Gilligan), I could only presume that her interpretations of the texts are correct. Regardless, she uses Aristotle and Hippocrates in order to build up a historical