Greek Mythology is notoriously anti-female revolution. From Aeschylus’s depiction of Clytemnestra’s thirst for power to one’s own Euripides’ depiction of Medea’s rampage of revenge, Greek mythology is terrified of powerful women. The Bacchae by Euripides makes no exception and continues stifling female empowerment; however, Euripides adds his own unique spin on terrifying female depiction. Instead of just representing women in power as monsters to fear, he instead blames femininity as the culprit. He uses the Bacchae, Dionysus, and Pentheus as examples of the danger in accessing one’s own femininity. The Bacchae’s own control of their sexuality, as Pentheus describes “They creep off one by one to lonely spots to have sex with men”, and their feminine features, as their breasts swell and their hair cascades, creates an example of women gone wild with power over themselves
In Ancient Greek Civilization, women were viewed as submissive. A man always controlled the women; that either being the Father or Husband. Women were forced to stay in the house and complete all household duties. Women were not even granted the right to attend assemblies, participate in politics, or even represent themselves in court. Having little to no overall power in your society can have a huge burden on Women but this can also fuel certain Women to strive to change the society they live in. Aristophanes Lysistrata and Homer’s Odyssey both show how women can thrive in their society and fight for what they believe in, even if that goes against the gender roles portrayed in Greek Civilization.
In Homer’s Poem, The Odyssey, Penelope is the exceptionally patient and clever spouse of the infamous hero, Odysseus, and the mother of Telemachus. One poignant factor of Penelope’s character is her patience and devotion which is displayed throughout the poem. With her husband absent for a great majority of her life for the later of twenty years and his location unknown, Penelope stays, patiently awaiting Odysseus’ return, all whilst preserving their estate and raising her son by herself. Throughout this time, she had many persistent suitors in pursuit of her, abusing her husband’s absence.
Throughout all of human history, various pieces of literature usually reflect the nature of people and the current culture of the time it was written. A topic that was frequently written about in Greek Mythology were family dynamics and relationships between family members. More specifically, father-son relationships were an extremely prevalent topic in Greek Mythology. In particular, The Odyssey touched upon this topic greatly. The basic structure of father-son relationships have stayed the same like how the parent are supposed to take care of the children. But as general family dynamics and culture changed, the interactions between fathers and sons have altered greatly. In ancient civilizations there were less loving relationships between
The word “hero” usually brings to mind a knight slaying a dragon or a firefighter rescuing someone from a burning building. But does one have to save a life to be considered a hero? Oftentimes, we assume that heroism is limited to physical bravery. This term, however, implies the notion of helping and inspiring others: a teacher cultivating a love for learning or a paraplegic Olympian reaching out to youth with disabilities.
Women are weak, helpless, and have no real purpose other than to serve men and take care of children. . . or so they were perceived in history. In the Odyssey, one can see that Homer’s portrayal of women challenges the depiction of women during that time period. Throughout the book, many women intervened in Odysseus’ journey home to Ithaca, for better or for worse. One will see Penelope, Athena, Circe, and other women impact Odysseus’ expedition home. These women influenced the conditions of the journey by guiding Odysseus in different directions, and aiding him crucially. Their authority showed the idea behind an old proverb, which states, “Behind every great man there’s a great woman”. Throughout The Odyssey, the women exemplified their power during the course of Odysseus’ journey.
Aristophanes and Sophocles both wrote similar arts that have been studied over the years. Antigone by Sophocles and Lysistrata by Aristophanes are two works of art that have many differences but they both assess an important point at the end. Out of all the differences between both of these plays, the one I consider most important is how each play ends according to the type of style it is. Even though the main characters of both of these plays were women, in Lysistrata, both the women and (eventually at the end) the men praise her for her beliefs, while in Antigone, almost everyone goes against what she feels is right which results in her death. The reason why this difference between Antigone (tragedy) and Lysistrata (comedy) is most important
However, for a woman in Homer’s society, who belongs to either her father and her husband, she is the head of the household for 20 years in the absence of Odysseus. She does not preserve peace in the household, but she takes actions to prevent the destruction of ranks of the household by delaying her marriage so that when Odysseus come back home, he can reclaim the kingship, or when Telemachus is old enough, he can take the throne which is rightfully his. In the position where women have no power, she uses her intellectual strength to control the suitors. Penelope promises the suitors that she will choose one of them to marry after she finishes weaving the shroud for Laertes because it is shameful if she does not do anything for her father-in-law. The suitors eagerly comply to her request without knowing what Penelope plans to do. After discovering Penelope’s deception, the suitors complain, “Her very words, and despite our pride and passion we believed her. So by day she’d weave at her great and growing web- by night, by the light of torches set beside her, she would unravel all she’d done. Three who years, she deceived us blind, seduced us with this scheme” (Homer, Odysseus, 2. 101- 106). With one simple promise, she is able to keep the suitors in control for three years, which demonstrates her intellectual strength. Penelope, a woman who perceives to be a weak character and unable to keep the household together, manages to assert dominance over 108 men with words alone. She shows wisdom in personal management in private household, satisfying the role of head of the household, through
Women are greatly judged by their looks throughout the book. They believe that a woman is successful if any of her direct family have an important position (e.g. King, God) or is a heroic figure. Even though Athena and Calypso are very different, one evident similarity, is their ability to influence and control men. Athena greatly interferes in Telemachus’ and Odysseus’ lives by utilizing her intellect. Her power, influence and control on men can either be seen as a positivity or as a negativity. Her interference lead Calypso to let go of Odysseus, or he might’ve stayed there forever. On the other hand, had she not interfered so much, Odysseus might have been able to get back home much
Theseus, Egeus, and Demetrius use their power, both as nobles and men, to try and force Hermia into marrying Demetrius. Egeus, in an attempt to bully Hermia into marrying Demetrius says, ‘‘‘She is mine, and all my right of her I do estate unto Demetrius’’’ (1.1.97-98). He sees his power as Hermia’s father as a way to force her into a marriage that will benefit him. This love, thrown upon her by the law, is very
Countless of these tearful songs have been written, describing the image of the woman behind a hero’s victory. In The “Odyssey”, Homer transforms the audience’s perspective about women significantly. All of them, whether beautiful woman or powerful goddesses, are occupied by sorrows. Especially, Penelope and Calypso--the two most influential women in both appearance and the complicated relationship with the guile hero. Although they have very different personalities and backgrounds--one is the queen of Ithaca, and the other is a magnificent goddess. However they are both caught in a same trouble--they expect too much from Odysseus, and they are striving for a hopeless purpose. They both undergo great sufferings, but neither of them is in control
What is worth mentioning in Sophocles’ play is that he not only showed the weak side of women but also the strong ones. For example, Ismene is the traditional role of women in ancient Greek—coward, fear of men power and feeble. For Ismene, "we must remember we were born women, not meant to strive with men" (Antigone). She even chose to die with Antigone while hearing her sentence, for she was afraid that she would be alone, she could not be able to fight against Creon, this men-dominant society. In contrast, her sister Antigone presents the “women power”. She dares to challenge the arrogant tyrant Creon by expressing her points bravely and furiously, trying to warn him that women do not always have the obligation to do what men command; she dares to protest the balance between duty and law, “…for it was not Zeus made such a law; such is not the Justice of the gods.” (Antigone), making her decisions in an equitable way and promise to find the real justice so as to give respect to her brother, Polyneices’ burial. Even though in the end Creon tries to give Antigone a lesson by putting her to prison, Antigone did not escape, for she understood that her action and pride would bring about these consequences, and she did not regret for doing this. In addition, we can also observe women power by seeing Creon’s words and behaviors. Creon’s hubris as a men affects how he thinks about women, he considered women as secondary creature. Yet, not until his arrogant led to great mistakes did he realized that men and women had the same position—they should be
. John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton once stated, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” However, the usage of power can be implemented positively or negatively, depending on the intentions of an individual. By definition, power is stated as the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. Characters from The Epic of Gilgamesh by Sin-Leqi-Unninni and Lysistrata by Aristophanes demonstrate that not all who wield power results in corruption.
The purpose of this essay is to investigate the women’s role in Classical Greece society and literature (5th/4th century b.C.).
In Lysistrata, men and women were entangled in an unhealthy relationship; it was based on the objectification of human beings. They didn’t care about anything but sexual pleasure. Women didn’t give much thought about how men are using them as a sex object and men didn’t concern themselves about their wives, families or even household responsibilities. One of the most compelling examples in the play, that supports