In many societies today, individuals are led to believe that the concept of women possessing their own strength or independence is abnormal. As a result, women experience the world in a constrained way in comparison to men, even if they are in higher classes of society. However, these extensive aspects of females are contradicted in some ancient Greek literature. In the epic poem, The Odyssey, Homer portrays women as a vital and powerful force through the characters Penelope and Circe, who counter the normality of misogyny in Homer’s time.
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 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.
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.
Gender roles, specifically of women, were a little different back in 700 B.C. They played more of a typical role, expected to get married and have kids at a young age. They were expected to take care of the house and children, while their husbands were out fighting wars. However, while women in The Odyssey were greatly valued for their beauty, Homer reveals that they also had to be intelligent to be successful in their lives.
“The Odyssey,” written by Greek poet Homer is an epic tale depicting the brutally enduring quest home of the Greek hero, Odysseus. Within this heroic story, women play a very large and pivotal role in Odysseus’s trip home from the Trojan War. In his attempt to get back to his wife, Penelope, Odysseus’s progress is constantly hindered by the intervention of women who will do anything in order to either convince the heroic figure to stay with them or have him killed. The intentions of the women in the epic are all very different but one of the most prominent roles lies in the seductresses and the alluring women who will deeply influence Odysseus. Most importantly, Penelope plays a large role in portraying the importance of women’s roles in the story. Through specific incidences, this influence of women is clearly depicted.
Homer’s, The Odyssey is an epic which was written many years ago. At that time, in Ancient Greek society, the dominant role was played by men and the women were considered and given an inferior position. But The Odyssey was often considered a women’s epic because women played an important role. Women in The Odyssey are portrayed as powerful, wise and controlling because they ensure that the illusion of male success will go on - they speak as men through women.
In spite of the fact that Homer’s Odyssey is an epic story of a man’s gallant journey, women play a huge part throughout. Their unique yet controversial personalities, intentions, and relationships are vital to the development of this epic and adventurous journey of Odysseus. The poem by Homer was written at a time when women had an inferior position in society, yet that didn’t stop them from being any less influential. All of the women throughout the Odyssey possess different qualities, but all of them help to define the role of the ideal woman.
The treatment of women has been a topic all throughout history. Women would be treated as lesser beings compared to men. Back in 430 b.c when Oedipus Rex took place, women were not treated equally by men in power. An example of this is when King Laius died, Jocasta did not become the ruler. She had to wait for someone to marry her to have a new ruler. Jocasta wasn 't allowed to rule because she was a women and men thought she needed a husband to guide her. From reading Oedipus Rex, Jocasta would have been qualified to rule because she is smart and cares about the people. Back in the 1700’s when Candide took place, women were still treated unequally by men as well. An example of this is when the Baron would not allow Cunégondé to marry Candide.
In Greek epics, tragedies, and mythology women are portrayed in various ways. Women are mainly considered to be weak and less important than men, but there are some women who are shown to be strong and heroic, despite the reputation that was placed onto them in Ancient Greek civilizations. There were two particular women that were strong and took the roles of their husbands while the men left to fight in the Trojan War. These two women were Penelope, wife of Odysseus, and Clytemnestra, wife of Agamemnon. These two women were different in how they chose to rule while their husbands were at war and how they acted once they got back. Penelope is considered to be the good wife and Clytemnestra is portrayed as the bad wife, for several reasons. Although it may be not be clear, the differences between being a good wife or a bad wife will be determined.
In the epic poem, The Odyssey, by Homer, there are many female characters who play the role of a villain. Calypso, Scylla, Charybdis, and the sirens are among the women with the largest, negative impacts on Odysseus’ journey home. Though some women, such as Athena, Eurycleia, and Penelope, are loyal to Odysseus throughout the poem. With such a wide range of female characters, they all contribute different things throughout the book, whether the impact of their actions is negative or positive. Regardless of the outcomes, Homer has quite a modern view of female representation in his poem.
Women have always been portrayed as the weaker sex compared to men. It has been demonstrated in history itself and throughout literary works. Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Homer’s The Odyssey, however, portray women to be more powerful than men, even when their society thought otherwise and underestimated them because of their gender. Lady Macbeth, The Three Witches, Queen Arête and Penelope demonstrate the astute, charming, and ambitious side of women that was overlooked by men when it came to having power and making decisions. Both works show the hardships of being a woman in power. At the same time, they give their perspectives of the power women disclosed.
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
. 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.
Such overpowering dominance in a technically fundamental democratic ‘polis’ significantly limits freedom and equal rights for any individual: Subordination of female ‘citizens’, as they were not even accounted as actual part of society, is self-evident in ancient Greek political thought therefore democracy fails in its effectiveness on ancient women. Due to extensive limitations of the integration of women, especially exclusion in societal aspects likewise territorial and traditional separation, the civilization does not implement democracy effectively. Ancient Athenian women, controlled by their