Essay on The Iliad Is A Classic Epic Poem

925 Words Mar 7th, 2016 4 Pages
The Iliad is a classic epic poem that offers readers a glimpse of the Greek mindset. Is is fairly easy to see the honor and glory bound society through men like Hector and Achilles, but what were the societal standards for women? While women definitely take a more passive behind the scenes role, Homer still portrays them in many different ways. First, Homer shows the beautiful war prizes Chryseis and Bryseis, who cause the feud between Agamemnon and Achilles. Then, he shows overprotective caretakers in Hecuba, Thetis and Adromache. Finally, he shows the goddesses Aphrodite and Hera interfering with the affairs of men at the same rate as the gods. The Iliad does not offer a very positive view of women, but two of the most prominent characters, Athena and Helen, do exemplify some more positive traits to offer a portrait of a Greek woman to complement the kleos- driven man.
Pallas Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare, exemplifies virtues of duty, reason and encouragement. Although she does play favorites with the Greeks and Odysseus, she uses a more human means to execute her plans rather than using magic. An example of this is when Achilles considers killing Agamemnon. When Achilles considers rash action to atone for his hurt pride, Athena becomes the voice of logic and gives him a reason to be patient: “ Don’t lay a hand to sword/… I tell you this and I know it is the truth/ one day gifts will lie before you/ three times over to pay for this outrage.”…

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