Women In The Iliad And Antigone

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The roles and social status of women in ancient times are being described by many well-known playwrights and poets. Yet, different works shows different opinions towards “women power”. In this essay, I am going to compare Homer’s Iliad and The Code of Hammurabi along with Sophocles’ Antigone. To begin with, in the Iliad, a woman 's role depends on her beauty and position in the society, making them look more like a “prop”. For instance, Briseis used to be a respected princess and the wife of Mynes. However, her great beauty made herself became a reward between Achilles and other warriors in the Trojan War—she is no longer a dignified queen but a belonging whose role being manipulated by men. Another example is Helen. She was taken away from her original husband Menelaus and became Paris’ wife unwillingly due to a meaningless quarrel—The Golden Apple. Her beauty made other goddess jealous and even led to a huge war. Though the role that women plays in the…show more content…
In law 129, “If the wife of a man is found lying with another male, they should be bound and thrown into the water; unless the husband lets his wife live.” It seems that both of them are being punished in this law, but if you look closer, you will still discover that men and society have the right to control women’s life and death. Moreover, in law 142, “…If she is careful and has no fault, but her husband takes himself away and neglects her; then that women is not to blame. She shall take her dowry and go back to her father’s house.” This law looks as if it protects women’s right. Nevertheless, it is not the husband leave the house but wife; women have to give back their possessions to their “father’s house” instead of her mother’s. From these two laws in The Code of Hammurabi, we can get the viewpoint that “women are interior to men”. No matter who makes the mistake, it is always female that has to take the

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