Female Influence in Greek Mythology Essay

Female Influence in Greek Mythology Essay

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The ability of women to influence the course of events in Iliad and Odyssey
Women have always been an important part of human history since it began. The Greek Myths also show how women, though not as powerful as men, have been able to cause great changes to the course of events. The Trojan of war is one glorified example of it where because of one woman thousands of soldiers died. I would like to talk about such women from the readings that we have done in this course. I shall be talking about Helen of Troy, Kalypso, Circe, Nausicaa and Penelope to show how mortals and immortals have powers of sort but are still inferior to men.
We shall talk about the characters from the epic poems Iliad and Odyssey, so I shall give a brief background of the poems. Iliad is an epic that recounts what happened in the last year or so of the Trojan War. The Odyssey talks about the returning soldiers from the Trojan War. The Odyssey is about the Greek Hero Odysseus and it mainly revolves around his life. Odyssey is a sequel to Iliad and both the poems are attributed to Homer. It has some very well illustrated characters. The women in this epic are also very well portrayed and are given as much importance as the soldiers and the heroes.
Helen is the wife of king Menelaus of Spain and due to her abduction by Paris the Trojan War had happened. She herself had nothing to do with the war and she also regrets the fact that she ever ran away with him. She is very beautiful and could attract any men on the face of the earth and due to her mere outbursts of attraction for another man caused her to flee away with him. She just let Paris lead her and guide her through while she just sat watching one of mankind’s most brutal war breakout.
We can see that...

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...had so much faith in her husband that on his return he would not have another wife along with him. She does not even know that whether Odysseus would even ever come back. This not only tells us that Homeric women were strong and powerful but also that they were inferior to men and had to live by the rules set by the society for them.
In conclusion, after reading about all these characters and learning about them through the course of the semester, I find it very hard to understand or even determine the power status of women in Greek culture. Women had powers but at the same time they were powerless at times. They could turn men into animals but yet at the sight of them they lay down their arms. However, the immortals still had a little more generic power than mortals. They would not tie their selves down because of Homeric societal rules unlike the mortals.

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