Gender Roles : The Odyssey And The Aeneid Essay

718 Words Dec 15th, 2015 3 Pages
The beginning of our time and the 20th century, we have seen the growth of interest in gender identity and various gender representations. In a period such as the classical period or era, literature such as The Odyssey and The Aeneid can provide a vast and well developed insight into gender roles intertwining with various cultural, social, and of course political circumstances. The rights of these ancient women varied greatly from the community and area that they were from. Men usually held the world in their hands and ruled almost everything that wasn’t the Gods. These two famous works have readily discussed information regarding gender roles and stereotypical behavior as well as expectations of the classical period of Greece and Rome. The main characters, protagonists Odysseus and Aeneas as well as Penelope and Dido, constructed in these epic poems fertilize the every growing conversation of gender roles in the ancient classical era. The Greek society created a great divide in classes, much greater than today’s, this included Greek citizens who had the right to vote, walk freely through the city and much more, foreigners who could not vote yet were still allowed to partake in some city events, and slaves who had absolutely no rights at all. Yet women’s rights varied quite slightly from those of the slaves. This often varied by city state1 and class however women rarely had as much power as men in the slightest. By law, women were not allowed to participate in…

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