Mourners on Greek Vases: Remarks on the Social History of Women

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In Christine Mitchell Havelock’s article, Mourners on Greek Vases: Remarks on the Social History of Women, Havelock describes the role of women in ancient Greece as being secondary, oppressed, restricted, disregarded and without identity. The question regarding women’s role in art within this time period is one that is new to us. Only recently has our focus been drawn toward the female gender and their role within these works. With the use of ancient vases depicting funeral scenes as visual aids, Havelock interprets the settings and points out how the artists depicted the role of women through visual hierarchy and figure poses. Havelock continues to describe the role of women within this time period with the help of literary writings…show more content…
These attributes did not make her a role model to the young girls of Greece. Athena had qualities that no other woman during that time had. She was seen as above all other women and a standard that could not be reached. Therefore she is viewed as a creation from the male mind rather than a role model to the women of Greece. Havelock’s article gives the reader an insight towards the role of women in ancient Greece. Her views on the subject seem to be very well thought out and carefully analyzed. The opinions that are shared really connect with many different works from the time. She not only looks at the visual representations upon the vases she is studying but she also does research into multiple literary works and beliefs of the era. With this broad spectrum of detail throughout the culture her findings seem concrete. As she describes each of her views on her topic, it becomes evident to the reader that she has an extensive background in art history and expects that the reader also have a similar knowledge of the subject matter. With this understanding her points come from an educated analysis rather than pure opinion. All readers must have a basic level of knowledge in art history since her ideas are a more in depth look toward the work. With works of art being so subjective, especially older works that come from a time where society and culture are so different from our own, each person will always interpret details differently. Although Havelock’s ideas

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