Oppression Of Women In The Iliad And Metamorphoses

Decent Essays
In all of the books that we have read since the beginning of this course most all of them contain the theme, in some fashion, of the degradation and abuse of women. The notion that women are treated unfairly and face cruel conditions is not a new idea and never has been, by looking through these works one can almost put a date to the starting point to the oppression of women. In texts such as The Iliad and Metamorphoses women are used as a means to the male satisfaction, in The Iliad Paris’s mother, Aphrodite gave Paris Helen as a reward. In Metamorphoses Apollo takes Daphne’s transformation and makes it his symbol. The Metamorphoses is a prime example of how in the tales of ancient Greek women having their lives ruined by men. In the…show more content…
Io unasking and desperate lived a miserable life “Would she complain, a moo cam from her throat, a startling sound-her own voice frightened her (pg20).” When Juno finally grants her mercy she still lives afraid “Yet still afraid to speak lest, cow-like, she might moo (pg23).” Forced to live out her existence in fear because of the desires of a man. Gods have ruined the lives of women but their lesser counterparts human men have also made their contribution to the cause of oppression. The fall of Troy demonstrated the exploitation of women well, their city in flames and families slaughtered they were taken as slaves for the Achaeans. The women called out the gods but were not heard, “Dragged by the hair, Apollo’s priestess stretched her hands to heaven in vain appeal (pg307).” The men stole them away and nothing the women did could save them not to pray or to hide like Hecuba, “Among her children’s tombs they found her (pg307).” Throughout metamorphosis and other works, such as The Iliad, women are used as a form of currency, a prize to be taken “Their bitter prize (307).” In this instance the gods were not needed to come down and steal away the hope and freedom of women, instead, mortal men took up the cause and harmed a whole town of women. Throughout history women have lived in the subjugation of men and the will of men, Ovid’s Metamorphoses stands testament to this history. Ovid set out to write and history and he did, in this history,
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