The Important Role of Woman in the Iliad Essay examples

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Homer's Iliad is the product of a society in which men played the dominant role. Throughout history, women have been viewed as playing small roles in society. The role of women in the Iliad is very small and overshadowed by the main story of Achilles and the Trojan War. The shadow that is cast over the women in the Iliad can often block readers from seeing the important role that they play in this classic Epic Poem. Most readers view the women of the Iliad as simply war prizes but without them there would be no story. The men of the Iliad are very emotional and prideful. Achilles and Agamemnon jealously feud over Briseis, a war prize that neither man particularly values. Even though Briseis is seen as a possession she plays a key part in …show more content…
Thetis is always motivated by her love and pity for her son, two emotions he seems unable to feel himself. As a loving mother, she is concerned for her son and his future and so ensures that he is aware of his options. Out of respect for him, she allows Achilles to make his own decision and goes as far
Knight 2 as to support him fully, although the attentive reader can sense that doing so is extremely painful for her. Therefore, although it superficially seems that Thetis supports war and aggression, her true motives are far more admirable and heartfelt. Unlike Thetis, Andromache’s values are clear. By the walls in book six, she makes an impassioned plea to Hector for reason and peace. "But show some pity” she says, "Stay here by the tower, Don’t make your child an orphan, your wife a widow." (Homer 129) When her fears are realized and Hector is struck down by Achilles, she says, "The son you and I bore but cannot bless. You can’t help him now you are dead, Hector?" (Homer 186) Even though she loves her husband Hector very much she still shows her pride and anger upon learning of his death. There is much to be said about to role of Athena in the Iliad. Athena’s’ actions that she takes against the Trojans perhaps play the biggest role in their defeat. Many times throughout the Iliad the Trojans call out for help from Zeus only for their

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