Her Arming Trope In Homer's The Iliad

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In Homer’s classic, The Iliad, there is a repetition of the warriors putting on their armor, preparing for war. Strangely enough, there is a scene in the epic that parallels this arming trope; however, it does not involve a soldier of any sort. Instead, the scene’s main character is Hera, who is dousing herself in perfume and accentuating her female charm in order to seduce her husband and brother, Zeus. At first glance, Hera making herself sexually desirable seems to have no connection to the many other arming scenes in The Iliad. However, after one considers the circumstances of Hera’s scene, the correlation becomes blatant. It is true that Hera is not adorning herself in bulky, bronze armor, ready to defeat some Argives or Trojans. However, …show more content…
The unsuspecting beauty is believed to have been seduced by Paris, a Trojan prince, and brought over to Troy. Menelaus is understandably enraged by this and wants satisfaction. Thus, the Trojan War commences, a long and onerous plight. Although it seems completely rational to use military force to save such a high-level captive, the fact that the war lasts about twelve years is a bit illogical. It is stressed throughout The Iliad all of the misfortune and unnecessary death that the cumbersome war has caused. Even Hector, Paris’ older brother, comments on the stupidity of such a long war over a woman. However, the reason for this irrationality is simply Helen’s immense attractiveness, which compels every male gaze. Both Menelaus and Paris’ sexual yearning for Helen is so great, that they are willing to sacrifices innumerable amounts of troops in order to feel the satisfaction of her sex. Even in Lysistrata, it is referenced that Menelaus became so enchanted by Helen’s bare chest, that he dropped his sword in outer awe. Female sexual dominion over men is quite evident in The Iliad itself, but in Lysistrata, this theme becomes even …show more content…
The women, lead by the haughty Lysistrata, vow to be as seductive as possible, but “as chaste as a virgin”. At first, the men refuse to concede to the women, thinking they are utterly mad for even putting on such a charade. However, predictably, the men become crazed, running around with distinct and constant erections because they are never sexually released. Eventually, after coming to terms with the fact that their wives will never fulfill their lustful desires until they orchestrate a truce, the men finally agree to end the war. This conquest made by the women is truly grand considering how important warfare was for the ancient Greeks, especially in Sparta. Sex must have truly meant a great deal to these men if they were willing to put aside such an essential part of their way of life in order to commit the simple act of coitus. Additionally, it was not necessarily that the men needed sexual release in general, but it had to come exclusively from a woman. They could have performed “self-abuse”, but did not. Instead, they would rather endure their erections than try to foolishly slate themselves with a

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