The Objectification Of Women In Homer's The Iliad

1333 Words6 Pages
Known as an epic war poem, The Iliad delves into topics concerning masculinity, heroism, and bravery. Women play a modest but important role that forms the structure of the plot. Helen’s character aids in expanding Menelaus and Paris’ characters. Homer does not delve into the lives of women like he does with the men, speaking to the notion of inferiority between the sexes. Homer displays women as tangible items through male interactions with one another. Women are looked at as inferior both mentally and physically to men. This is evident by the fact that women are given as sexual items, toys and trophies to men. Homer rarely empathizes the attractiveness of the heroic man. Beauty pertains to the goddesses and women. Homer infers that a woman’s importance lies in her looks while for men their importance lies in their heroism. Throughout The Iliad, Homer highlights the gender inequalities between Helen and her male counterparts Agamemnon, Achilles, and Paris. Homer accentuates the objectification of women through conflicts between male characters. In Book 1, the audience is first introduced to this idea in a speech by the King of Mycenae, Agamemnon. The mighty king demands, “I don 't want to see the army destroyed like this. But I want another prize ready for me right away. I 'm not going to be the only Greek without a prize, It wouldn 't be right. And you all see where mind is going (Homer, 119-129). In the speech, Agamemnon doesn 't even mention the woman by her name. He is
Open Document