Helen The Odyssey

1374 Words6 Pages
Malala Yousafzai once said, “We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” Identifying the value of free speech is made far easier when it is not respected. In patriarchal societies women are often ignored or written off as unimportant. Especially within the social structure of the warrior culture, the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of women are discredited. By becoming consciously aware of the lack of respect given to them, the women of Greece, Troy, and even Goddesses reclaim their power within a society actively damning them to be silent and weak. In The Iliad, by Homer, the characters Helen, Athena, and Hera assert that women may not have power, but by embracing the roles given to them, they are able to leverage their…show more content…
She calls herself a whore, a bitch, all sorts of horrific names, and no one ever disagrees with her. Helen has literally no power in her life. Given to Paris as a prize, kept as a slave masqueraded as a wife, and absolutely miserable about the quality of existence she has, Helen is the figurehead of helpless damsels. She is a measure of arête, gifted as though she were an inanimate object rather than a woman who had already been married and had a child. Completely ignored and degraded, she declares, while speaking with King Priam, that “Death never came, so now I can only waste away in tears” (134). Helen’s life is dependent on the men around her and whether or not she can appease them. While it is likely that she holds less power than women from humbler upbringings, Helen is overlooked even in scenarios where she is directly impacted (like in her second pseudo-marriage). The only things in her life that she has control over are her emotions and her sexuality. Chosen because she was the most beautiful, Helen is forced to utilize her sexual appeal in order to manipulate the world around…show more content…
Even after she diminishes the severity of Zeus’s decree, Poseidon defies the parameters set and strengthens certain warriors as an act of vengeance towards the Trojan army. He disregards the decision made by Athena, disregards the words of wisdom imparted upon all of the Gods, and instead takes matters into his own hands. Because he fails to respect the boundaries created to lessen their participation in the war, he strengthens the idea that female Gods are not considered equal to their male counterparts when deciding course of action. Although he supports the same side that Athena and Hera are on, he is symbolic of the male population’s disrespect and impertinence towards the female

More about Helen The Odyssey

Open Document