Role Of Helen In The Odyssey

1402 Words 6 Pages
From the role of mistress, to housewife, to a cunning warrior, women played a big role in Ancient Greek society. Although most were denied access to power, they maintained life at home and in the family, which consequently degraded their status in society and left them with little time for themselves. But family life was a main focal point in their lives. Because women were less powerful physically, they were seen as less than men, therefore they needed men as their guardians. This caused them to have little to no influence in Ancient Greece culture, subjecting them to be seen as objects and traded for men’s desire. Yet they played a big role in Greek tragedies, such as The Odyssey and Antigone. Women in these plays guarded their Husband’s …show more content…
Even though as a whole they were portrayed as powerless, different types were represented throughout the poem. From strong, to distrustful, to wicked, they were fought over, but they were not free nor were they slaves. Homer showed Helen as being the main cause of the Great War, putting the blame on women in general. Helen knows that she is the reason for the downfall of men, which is also causing her to let down other women too. Helen is depicted as a strong figure, who strives for personal achievement in a society where women were often oppressed. The gods subject her to their wishes, creating her to have a disadvantage compared to everyone else. Despite her descent from Zeus, Helen is put in the same category as every other mortal woman. Due to all of this, Helen is unable to reach her full potential in this poem. Causing her to be less important and frankly unneeded to make this story. So it is confusing as to why Homer felt the need to show Helen, and women in general, the way he does in the …show more content…
She is the queen of Argos and wife of king Agamemnon, and is the main central character of the play. She is a quite complex character and is constantly changing. Aeschylus portrays the different sides of her, including all of her strengths and weaknesses. During the play, she kills her husband Argos and sacrifices her daughter Iphigenia, which can make her personality seem all one sided, cruel and heartless. Nevertheless, she can also show other characteristics, such as sympathy and strength. In the play, the Chorus members make remarks about how women aren’t as intelligent as men. Which makes us wonder how Aeschylus views women himself, and why he portrays her as having both male and female qualities. Clytemnestra herself is very intelligent and often uses language that is unusual for women. She also has pretty predominant masculine actions and behaviors. “...women in passionate heart and man in strength of purpose.” (Line 11) This line in the beginning of the play can give evidence of these manly behaviors. The chorus helps support this even more by stating- “Lady, you speak as wisely as a prudent man.” (line 351) It can be said that Clytemnestra becomes very interesting throughout the play. She is a strong headed women, but at the same time she is also a liar and murderer. Even after watching her change so drastically, it is still unclear as to how Aeschylus

Related Documents