Treatment Of Women In The Iliad And The Odyssey

822 Words4 Pages
A recurring theme in classical literature is the treatment of women. In his epics “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey,” the women were objectified. The women were treated as possessions sexually. The society during this time was mainly patriarchal, meaning that the women in the household were expected to be subject to male authority; if they were not submissive, the women would be portrayed as disrespectful. While the treatment of women nowadays is considerably better than during Homer’s time, there are still some aspects that have stayed the same. Women in the media and today’s culture are sexualized to fit the public’s demand. Gender inequality and stereotyping was an ongoing theme in Homer’s classical epics, but it is still prevalent in today’s culture.
In “The Iliad,” the conflict with women starts out at the opening of the story. Two women are kidnapped and kept as war prizes from their families, one for Agamemnon and the other for Achilleus. Chryses asks for his daughter, Chryseis, to be returned, even offering a large ransom. The men ignore his requests and keep the women, treating the women as prizes or trade items. Agamemnon and Achilleus stubbornly fight over the other’s “prize,” just as children fight over toys.
In “The Odyssey,” a double standard between men
…show more content…
However, many feminists fight for full equality. Gender equality is so much a human rights issue as it is a women’s issue. While it is now normal for women to have jobs outside of a housewife, females still fight to succeed in the male-dominated society. Recent presidential elections have included women candidates. This would have been unheard of before the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1920, which gave women the right to vote. While this is a step forward for women in the United States, there are still women in third world countries that do not have these human
Open Document