Essay about Women in Greek Stories: The Odyssey by Homer

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Women living in Ancient Greece had limited rights, if any, and were treated as property, owned by either their father or husband. They were never allowed to enter battle and their job was to keep to household in order. However, in Greek stories, women were given a major role and showed strength, wit, and cunning unusual to the stereotypical woman of the time. The Greek writers used women who possessed these traits to progress the plot and evoke the emotions famous in Greek drama and tragedies. In Homer’s “The Odyssey” Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, plays a pivotal role in advancing the plot through her mental strength and wit. While Odysseus is away, Penelope is bombarded by suitors wishing to take his as her husband. Penelope is…show more content…
Medea was married to the famous Greek hero, Jason, whom she left her homeland to live with. After bearing two children, Jason betrayed his vows to Medea, and married the princess of Corinth. In her grief, Medea plots to torture Jason and cause him as much pain as possible, even killing her own children to hurt him. The events that take place before the play serve to establish Medea as a heroine and victim. Medea is a hero when she kills her evil family to escape to Greece with Jason. She then becomes a victim when Jason betrays her for another woman. These events create empathy with the reader, and urge our support for Medea in her quest for revenge. Medea is established as an antagonist when she carries out her brutal plot to harm Jason, as described in the bulk of the play. Medea enacts a plot to kill the king and princess of Corinth, as well as her own children, as revenge for Jason. These actions are vengeful and merciless, causing the reader to despise Medea for her actions. The mixture of emotions surrounding Medea are the icon of the play, and leave the reader conflicted in opinion. This famous confliction of pity and fear towards Medea is a classic example of Greek tragedy. In another famous Greek tragedy, “Oedipus the King,” Jokasta, the wife and mother of Oedipus, can be seen as an untraditional Greek woman in several ways. Namely, she abandoned her son in fear of prophecy, and unknowingly committed incest. While

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