"The Odyssey" by Homer, and in "The Ramayana", by R.K Narayan.

Essay by ali883Junior High, 9th grade May 2003

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As Circe tries to seduce men and turn them into pigs, Penelope stays loyal and obedient to her husband. While Soorpanaka tries to steal a woman's spouse and sleep with him, Sita refuses to leave her husband's side. These traits show the major differences between temptresses and ideal wives in The Odyssey and The Ramayana. Though temptresses have more force, faithful wives always end up with the better lifestyle. Both The Odyssey and Ramayana portray women as ideal wives and temptresses.

Soorpanaka, the temptress in Ramayana had fallen in love with Rama. Referring to Soorpanaka, "In the course of her wanderings, she saw Rama and fell in love and decided to seduce him by every art in her power"(Ramayana 70). This quote suggests that this demon-like character is a temptress. After Soorpanaka frightened Sita, Rama felt that her visit was over, "Do nothing that will bring on retribution and suffering.

Please be gone before my brother Lakshama notices you. He will be angry."(Ramayana 71) Indeed, when Lakshama noticed her stalking Sita, he punished her by chopping off her nose, ears and breasts with his sword. However, Sita is the opposite. When Rama was put into exile, Sita refused to not be by his side and came with him. Even after being kidnapped by Ravana, she did not lie with him because she was faithful and honest to Rama. However, Rama could not believe that she had been faithful, so Sita jumped into a fire and "From the heart of the flame rose the god of fire, bearing Sita, and presented her to Rama with words of blessing. Rama, now satisfied that he had established his wife's integrity..." (Ramayana 162) Unlike Soorpanaka, Sita was not deceitful and evil. In the end, the ideal wife had Rama, while...