For this informative report I will attempt to point out the roles women and how they are viewed in ancient Greece. I will then show how these views are present in Homer’s "The Odyssey." How are women, goddess or mortal, conveyed in "The Odyssey?"
They fought for Helen as if she was an object in which they had to have as their property. This also shows what role a woman’s beauty can have in a Greek man’s life.
Women in ancient Greece had very few rights in comparison to male citizens. Women were unable to vote, own property, or inherit wealth. A woman’s place was in the home and her purpose in life was to rear children. Considering this limited role in society, we see a diverse cast of female characters in Greek mythology. We are presented with women that are powerful and warlike, or sexualized, submissive and emotionally unstable. In many myths, we encounter subversive behavior from women, suggesting, perhaps, the possibility of female empowerment. While produced in an ostensibly misogynistic and oppressive society, these myths consider the possibility for a collapse of male power and the patriarchal system. In Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey,
Many people regard Homer’s epics as war stories—stories about men; those people often overlook the important roles that women play in the Odyssey. While there are not many female characters in the Odyssey, the few that there are, play pivotal roles in the story and one can gain a lot of insight by analyzing how those women are portrayed. Homer portrays the females in contradictory ways: the characters of Athena and Eurykleia are given strong, admirable roles while Melantho, the Sirens and Circe are depicted in a much more negative way. Penelope—the central female character—is given both negative and positive attributes.
Throughout the three literary periods: The Ancient World, The Middle Ages, and The Renaissance; women have been portrayed and treated in different ways. The Iliad by Homer is about the Trojan War fought by the Achaeans and Trojans which was over the capturing of the wife of King Menelaus, Helen of Troy, by Paris. In The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer, it is about a group of 29 people who are all on a pilgrimage to Canterbury to worship St. Thomas’s shrine; however, as Chaucer describes all these types of people not many of them are very religious and the stories they tell show the perspective and portrayal of women in this time. In Francis Petrarch’s poetry Rhymes, he describes his love and admiration for a woman who doesn’t love him back, yet Petrarch still confesses his love for her through his poetry. Through these stories and poems, The Iliad, The Canterbury Tales, and Rhymes, from the three time periods, the role of women is a progression of how they were looked at and their role in that time period, by men.
Homer’s Odyssey is an epic tale set in the world of ancient Greece - a world dominated by men. Admirable men such as Odysseus, the story’s protagonist, are strong, cunning, and wise; they have control over their lives and the people within them. In The Odyssey, the quintessential man is characterized by his authority, including control of the women who surround him. As is suggested throughout the novel, the patriarchal world would fall into disarray without the force of intrinsic male authority. Odysseus’s struggles with his wife, his son’s search for manhood, and the wiles of cunning women like Clytemnestra and Calypso highlight the disordering powers of women. These disordering powers justify, to the men within this world, the necessity
The role of women in Greek literature has demoralized them and showing them in a maligned light. The women are portrayed as frail, cruel, insensitive, or as seductresses. These characteristics have been integrated into today’s society and [have] built the standards and defined the moral outlook of women. However, in Greek mythology, powerful and strong women are not as well celebrated, such as Athena. Homer’s The Odyssey construes the positive and negative role of women through the epic poem. The women in the poem are depicted through the contrasting actions of Penelope and the maids, in addition with the opposite personalities between the goddess Athena and the nymph Calypso.
In the first section of Odyssey, mortal women are presented to us as controlled by the stereotypes and expectations of the culture of the day, and it is only within that context that we can consider the examples Homer provides of women to be admired or despised. He provides us with clear contrasts, between Penelope and Eurycleia on the one hand, and Helen and Clytemnaestra on the other.
“As is the generation of leaves, so is that of humanity. The wind scatters the leaves on the ground, but the live timber burgeons with leaves again in the season of spring returning. So one generation of men will grow while another dies” (6.146-50)
In ancient Greece, it was crucial that men proved their masculinity in order to uphold their worth and earn them a place in social establishments. An important aspect of human life is a man’s masculine identity and how it plays a role in society. However with this idea of masculinity came limitations that were not to be crossed. Ancient Greek epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, both function to provide their own view on masculinity in society through the reverse sex similes. In the Iliad the crucial role of Achilles as a warrior and his association with maternal protection, as represented through it’s reverse sex maternal similes, ultimately proves problematic. This intrinsic part of man to fight on the battlefield to win timê and kleos is ultimately
“The relationship between the male and the female is by nature such that the male is higher, the female lower,” This very sexism and politically incorrect statement came from the mouth of the famous Aristotle from ancient Greece. People from ancient Greece commonly associated women inferior to men and women’s role only belonged in the house and with the children with no political activity. In contrast to this stereotype, Homer, though his book the Iliad, demonstrated women such as Andromache, Brises and Helen playing an enormous role for the Trojans, Achaean and the major war itself through their presents in the lives of the protagonist which change the outcome of the war completely.
Counting both Homer’s works, The Odyssey and The Iliad, he echoes his societies origination of ladies as being either assistants of men or blocks or limitations to them; however, basically pitiful in their own particular right. The main special
The first book of the Iliad begins with the beginning of Achilles’ rage, the rage that will eventually cause his own people so much grief and is also the force for Homer’s version of the story of the Trojan War. Whereas the taking of Helen is the focus of the larger, traditional story, the feud between Agamemnon and the hero Achilles over a kidnapped girl defines the Iliad. Both feature a conflict over a woman, Helen and Chryses’ daughter, and a need for resolution as well as a breach of social contract: Paris steals the wife of Agamemnon, ruining the bonds of the guest relationship, while Agamemnon denies Chryse his right to ransom and invokes the wrath of the gods in the form of a plague. In both cases, however, it becomes clear that the conflict will not be resolved quickly, but will continue through the very heart of the story. By “singing of Achilles’ rage” from the first line, the narrator is clearly showing the audience that this Trojan war is not the war of Hector or Paris or Helen, but of the proud Achilles and his hero-sized enemy.
Homer’s Iliad is undoubtedly focused on its male characters: Achilles, primarily, but also Hector and Agamemnon. Nevertheless, it seems that the most crucial characters in the epic are female. Homer uses the characters of Thetis, Andromache, and Helen as a basis for comparison to the male characters. Homer wants his audience to see and understand the folly of his male characters in choosing war over peace, aggression over kindness, and honor over family. While the behavior of these characters clearly speaks for itself, the contrasting attitudes and behaviors of the female characters proffer an alternative; in comparison, the reader can hardly fail to concur with Homer’s message that war, aggression,
Throughout The Iliad, an epic poem written by Homer, there were numerous warriors and other characters that could be looked upon as heroes; some of these heroes included Achilles, Ajax, Diomedes, Hector, and Glaucus. All of these individuals were heroes because of their remarkable mental and physical strength: they were courageous and were better fighters in war than other ordinary men. The trade of battle was a way of life to the Greeks back in Homer’s time. Children were raised to become great servicemen to their country, and warriors lived to fight for and defend their nation with pride and valor. The heroic code was a strict morality that dealt with matters relating to honor and integrity in battle.