Ancient Greek women had a specific role in society. They were expected to be housewives and produce children. Women were regarded as stupid and vain. Men thought that they needed to take care of women, or else they would die or do ridiculous things. Several myths about human women display the underlying feelings that Greek men held. They believed that women could be easily distracted or swayed from their morals with gold and jewelry, like Atalanta or Procris. Or that no matter how independent a woman thinks she is, she will always loose against men, like the Amazons. In the case of Medea, as a foreign woman, she was evil. She was a sorceress who was perfectly fine with murdering men, including her own brother and children. No Greek person would have seen the awful situation Jason had placed her in, only her difference from the social norm.
In Ancient Greek culture myths were important to explain earthly phenomenons like earthquakes, rain and even wind. When these occurrences happened they did not have science or answers about why so, they made myths. These myths have affected the way that people think today. It is why women are paid less and why people do good things for others today. Women as a source of strife was significant to the Greeks and still influences American Culture today in a negative way to show that women are portrayed of having less value than men, women are being paid less and are not being treated as well as men in the workplace.
The common view in ancient societies was often that this was a world of men; that women were inferior. There’s often debate on the role of women in society, but in reality, women play an important role in any type of society, whether it is good or bad. Women in ancient Greece, China, and the Roman Empire were able to exercise influence into their culture despite the discrimination toward them. Although each society was different, women shared similar influences in their power, and restrictions in the aspect of marriage. Although most of these ancient cultures viewed women similarly, of these three locations, the women in the Roman Empire had it best.
In ancient times, there is a general sense that women were simply items and slaves to their husbands. Ancient Greece specifically has a renowned reputation of favoring men. Men possessed the dominant role in public affairs and events while most women were pressured to stay at home. Very few records extensively discuss women; the records focus mostly on men. Despite the lacking records, it is certain how ancient Greeks viewed their women and their relationships with their male counterparts. Sadly, most of how women lived away from their husbands’ world and how they interacted with other female companionship remains a mystery.
One of examples is the “Discolobus” by Myron. They wanted to be described in idealized human form, God-like appearance in contrapposto posture (such as the “Spear Bearer” by Polykleitos). The Greeks valued physical healthiness and masculinity (for
In Ancient Athens a woman was the queen of the domestic realm at not much else, while in Sparta she controlled her relationships as her husband was never there and went about her affairs as she pleased. If her husband was absent for too long she could find a new one, rather than having a new marriage arranged for her by a relative. As where if this were to occur in Athens she would have to move back in with her father. Athenian women and Spartan women lived extremely different lives except when it came to religion. Religion was their only common ground, their lives were completely different and their roles in society were also different.
Women’s roles has changed dramatically throughout history. By looking at the lives of women, it would be possible to tell how the civilians at that specific period of time were living. In this paper, women’s lives in mainly three civilizations would be discussed, the Sparta, the Athens, and the Hellenistic era.
The Geek society had may guidelines concerning the way men and women were treated and the roles they played within society. “The concept of gender was an integral aspect of this social hierarchy; power was not evenly distributed and only men were allowed to participate in prestige activities such as politics, law, or the military” (“The Ure Museum”). The values of gender roles within the Greek society are expressed in the play Medea by Euripides. Though Euripides tried to show the disparities of how women are treated compared to men, he still uses some of the same stereotypes exhibited within Greek society. Some issues that will be discussed are the way the women are portrayed in Greek society. Explaining why the women are being treated unfairly and the outcomes that can happen to women in the Greek society. How men are portrayed in Greek society. Explaining why men have different expectations than women and the political aspects of the male gender role in Greek society. The effects of the non-traditional roles the men and women played in the Medea play. Also, discuss the
This could be due to that fact that gods and goddesses are also shown to have two sets of standards for sexual fidelity. When Calypso was told to release Odysseus she mentioned these unfair standards, “Hard-hearted you are, you gods! You unrivaled lords of jealousy-scandalized when goddesses sleep with mortals.” (The Odyssey, Book 5, pg 317, lines 130-133) Calypso 's complaint shows that even divine beings in Greek culture have different standards for women and men.
Humans have always had a unique perspective on gender roles. Throughout history, women have somehow became less superior to men. There are multiple variables to how and why this came to be. Whether it was the agriculture revolution, influential literature, or even climate events from the Mesopotamian civilization, males have managed to be more dominant. There has also been harmful sexism perspectives passed down each generation that could have triggered what women can and cannot do. However based upon evidences drawn by numerous historian writers, there are answers to why women roles have somehow been overlooked.
Ancient plays throughout different cultures in history contained all male cast, failing to even cast women as they were deemed inferior. Tradition held that the culture in western societies restricted women’s roles. Even as female characters were indeed written in certain plays, the role were portrayed by a male. They regarded women being able to portray these roles as dangerous and that having men play them “neutralized” the danger it possessed. The Greek’s and the Roman’s both held these views making it impossible for women to be on stage.
Shakespeare's Othello is set during the Renaissance period and therefore the roles of the women in Othello are supposedly bounded by the period when women are considered to be of low intellect. In Othello, most male characters assume that women are inherently promiscuous, which explains why all three women characters in the play are accused of sexual infidelity. Yet Shakespeare develops the women to speak the most sense throughout the play and able to trust other characters in the play. To the men in Othello, female sexuality is a threatening force more than it is an attractive one.
The Homeric Hymns portray Aphrodite, Athena, Artemis and Hestia as strong females who uphold their own beliefs; challenging the “typical” gender stereotypes of the time period. Women in antiquity were expected to follow and uphold certain societal rules, most of these rules emphasized the gender stereotypes that women were perceived as being. The use of the goddesses powers challenge these societal rules and ideas about women. Aphrodite, Athena, Artemis, and Hestia are portrayed in the Homeric Hymns in contrast to ancient stereotypical roles of women being confined to the household; as a result this contrast emphasizes that women can showcase strength, intelligence, and power within society.