The Roles Of Women In The Iliad And The Odyssey

1278 Words 6 Pages
The Roles of Women in The Iliad and The Odyssey
As the world has evolved, women have held many different roles in a male dominated society. Men have been held at a higher rank than women since the dawn of time. In Homer’s heroic poems, the readers can clearly identify how women can be perceived. In the Iliad, women were seen merely as an object of possession that played a relatively significant role to the story. Whereas in the Odyssey, women were seen in their own light and played a key role in the epic.
The Iliad provides plenty of examples how women can be viewed as property. This heroic poem starts out with a quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon over Briseis, who was thought to be a victor’s souvenir of war. When the Greeks raided an
…show more content…
The daughter of Zeus was illustrated as a trophy and was taken away from her husband. The Prince of Troy, Paris, decided to whisk away the most beautiful woman on earth at that time. Unlike Briseis and Chryseis, Helen had more of a say in leaving her previous home. Once she was able to see past the love she had for Paris, Helen missed her husband, Menelaus. Early in the Iliad it is declared by some of the characters that she is the reason for the entire Trojan …show more content…
She awaited the homecoming of her husband for almost twenty years with their son, Telemachus. Penelope was very loyal to Odysseus even though there were about forty suitors trying to take Penelope’s hand in marriage and Odysseus’ property. She used her cunning wits to prolong choosing a suitor to marry. She announced that she was to make a beautiful tapestry for her father in law, Laertes. However, the suitors did not know that she would weave by day and return at night to unweave what she had done for the day. This kept the suitor at arm’s length until Odysseus could return home and assume the throne that awaited him. Odysseus finally makes it back home where she gives him multiple tests to ensure his identity. Penelope does this very carefully so the suitors do not know that the beggar is Odysseus. Odysseus passes all of the tests that she lays out for him and wins her hand in

Related Documents