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.
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 epic poem,The Odyssey, women are a major part of the story. In ancient times, women were very limited to their rights. They were expected to stay at home all day every day. When men would cheat on their wives it was fine, but when woman cheated they were shamed. When their husbands would leave, they would have to feel lonely while the Husband could go off and cheat. For example, when odysseus left Penelope all alone, he went out and cheated on her with Calypso. Although many people believe that Homer presented woman positively, the characters the Sirens, Scylla and Calypso actually suggest the opposite.
In Homer’s The Odyssey, particular characters have some sort of disguise that allows them to deceive others. In the epic, there is also a demonstration of inequality between men and women. The idea of guile in The Odyssey was raised multiple times throughout the epic and it was often considered to be wisdom. From the beginning of the epic, we see characters praising men for their “wisdom” and women are oppressed for the majority of their actions, including lying. This patriarchal system that oppresses women for their actions, including shunning them for being deceptive, reveals the double standard in society, but also reveals the social statuses in this time period that oppressed women and bound them from being able to change the overall epic.
The Odyssey embodies the proverb in the intro about women and men, which states that men are only successful when women support them. Without Penelope, Circe, Athena, and Calypso, Odysseus’ journey would have continued in agony and ended ultimately in his death. Many powerful women today, like Michelle Obama and Malala, inspire men and women alike to stand up for what they believe in and support others. Without their influence and that of other strong women, many celebrities, who people look up to, would not be who they are
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.
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.
She reinforces the social structural ideas that is presented in the text read in class. Women were not allowed to participate in public affairs. Only men can participate in the public arena. Their domain was the household. Women were in charge of the household. They took care of their children, their husbands, and supervised the slaves. Women worked as nurses, weavers, washers, mourners among other things. Men made life changing decisions for women. They decided who their daughters were to marry. Good wives were considered to be those who bore their husbands sons. Men held the power in ancient Greece. Women had to accept the rules set by men. The oppression of the women in Greece serves as a lesson. The oppression of women have slowly dissolved with triumphs such as the 19th amendment, yet it still throughout the world. Some women aren’t receiving the same pay as men for the same jobs while others are not allowed a formal education. The chapter, “Women and the City of Athens”, matters because it shows that women are still facing the same inequality as seen thousands of years ago in ancient
I would have liked to be an ancient Greek if I were a male citizen. In Greece, men could vote, run for office and participate in daily life. Also, Greek men also received proper education and education is very important to me. Also, men could participate in plays. I really enjoy acting and would like to do that.
“Of all creatures who live and have intelligence, we women are the most miserable,” a woman from ancient Greece claimed. Greek women of this time were viewed as property, housekeepers, and slaves. They endured lives restrained by ludicrous double standards, which played out in their marriages, in how they were perceived by men, and in their role as mothers.
In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the female characters' desire to question the law of Athens and select their own husbands drives most of the conflict in the play. In a way, Hermia, Helena, and Titania are the protagonists of the play because each of their desires are being thwarted by the patriarchal structure of the society in which they live. The way the women try to overcome such hurdles does not sit well with the men. Accordingly, the men get on edge when their patriarchy is disrupted, so they make strict laws to try and keep the women under their control. The men of Athens feel threatened when women show agency because their whole patriarchal system depends on female complacency. Although Athenian society
As happens to all civilizations, Sparta peaked and then lost the power and glory it once held. In 370 B.C, Thebes defeated Sparta in battle, leaving the Spartan army in critical condition. Seeing their chance, the Messenians revolted and regained their independence, never again to be under Sparta’s control. This pivotal event was especially devastating for the women, who’s roles in society were clearly linked to their domination of Messenia. They were not needed for management of lands and people, as the men lost their purpose for a full-time army. Instead, their role and rights began to decline, until they reflected those of any other Greek woman outside of Sparta.
Over generations, the role of women in society has shifted and changed immensely, improving upon many aspects of rights and values that women have. The changes occurred gave women opportunities to provide ideas, to have the same rights as men, giving women freedom, leading to many contributions of many significant and valuable events. But from current roles of women being equal to those of men, how women stood in ancient society significantly differs and contrast with ours today. Throughout history, the role and significance of women were always outweighed by the dominance and influence of men. The role of women in ancient times varied throughout, depending on the place and area in the world, in which women had different roles and impacts on their own society. The civilizations in Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient India, and Ancient China all displayed diverse roles of women in their society but among these civilizations, I believe living in Ancient Egypt is the most suitable civilization living as a woman.