Feminism and the Power Struggle of Women in Ancient Greece Essay

Feminism and the Power Struggle of Women in Ancient Greece Essay

Length: 1352 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Feminism and the power struggle of women in Ancient Greece
Women are a very prominent part of the Greek society. Their role has influenced and shaped the Greek society to a very large extent. Women have been shown in many different lights in the Greek works of Odyssey and Iliad which we have covered in our class. The works that I will be citing in this essay, namely Homer’s poems Odyssey and Iliad talk about many prominent women such as Helen of Troy, Penelope and also many other Goddesses. Homer’s poems talk about the various traits of Greek women and portray their characteristics by describing their traits and the events they were involved in. Through this essay, I would like to illustrate how women were treated as objects of desire for the males in Greek history as well as not being able to fully utilize their power. I will be using specific quotes from “The Odyssey”, related to Penelope, Helen of Troy as well as Nausicaa. I will also support my argument against Odysseus by using quotes of his travels from “The Odyssey”.

Moving on, I will now like to talk about the story of Odysseus’s faithful wife, Penelope. Penelope was famous for her faithfulness to her husband Odysseus, who was away fighting in the Trojan War for over 10 years. Penelope was an attractive woman and was also known for her intelligence, apart from her loyalty. When Odysseus was away, Penelope received a lot of marriage proposals from her suitors. In spite of being away from Odysseus for so long, Penelope never gave in to any temptations or weaknesses that she might have had. She very trickily and cleverly led her suitors on but never gave in to their marriage proposals.
Homer writes about one such incident that Penelope tried in order to ward off her sui...


... middle of paper ...


... not want to upset a deity and face her wrath. Even though the Trojan war took 10 years to complete, it took 9 more years for Odysseus to come back home because of his encounters with all his women. According to me, even though Odysseus was a hero and he was a part of many heroic acts, his attitude towards women was not very respectful. I saw his respect only in Nausicaa’s story where he just finds her beautiful and does not desire her in any other way.
In conclusion, I would like to say that Greek women were not only suppressed, they were also used as objects of desire. Their position was merely reduced to being toyed around with for satisfying the male ego. Except for Penelope none of the other women showcased any kind of wit of cleverness. And as I have mentioned before, even in Penelope’s case, all her faithfulness went to nil because of Odysseus’s infidelity.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Feminist Theory And The Women Of Ancient Greece Essay

- The Feminist Theory and the Women of Ancient Greece Since the beginning of time there has been an ever present divide between the male and female genders in every way. From politics all the way down to expectations, the common denominator in categorizing who takes care of what has always been decided by gender. In earlier times this divide led to the strict and often harsh treatment of women, but as time continued and the emergence of equal rights and feminist movements arose, the divide between the two genders has since begun to close, and has led to better relations between men and women....   [tags: Gender, Feminism, Sociology, Women's suffrage]

Strong Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)

Feminism And The Feminist Theory Essay

- Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights with the support of men and women to obtain gender equality. It is where the feminist theory originates. Feminist theory explains the role of women in society throughout history and today, socially, economically, and politically. Those who advocate and support this movement are feminist. The goal is to gain equality for men and women, but the approach to obtain this is different. To understand this theory, I will break down the history and ideology of feminism, as it is the root to feminist theory....   [tags: Feminism, Gender, Women's rights, Women's suffrage]

Strong Essays
757 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Feminism in Medea by Euripides

- Feminism in Medea by Euripides The play Medea by Euripides challenges the dominant views of femininity in the patriarchal society of the Greeks. While pursuing her ambition Medea disregards many of the feminine stereotypes/ characteristics of the patriarchal Greek society. She questions the inequality of women in a patriarchal society, contradicts Jason?s chauvinist beliefs, challenges the stereotype that women are weak and passive and completely disregards the feminine role of motherhood....   [tags: Feminism Euripides]

Strong Essays
1004 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on The History of Feminism

- ... The first wave is the most familiar and took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The goal of the first wave was to open up opportunities for women with its primary focus on suffrage. In its early stages, feminism was interrelated with temperance and abolitionist movements while giving a voice to now-famous activists like Sojourner Truth. The discussions about voting and women’s participation in politics soon led to the examining about society’s views on men and women and their differences (Rampton)....   [tags: equal rights for women]

Strong Essays
763 words (2.2 pages)

An Analysis in Feminism in the Play 'Lysistrata' Essay

- In Aristophanes play Lysistrata, the women of Greece take on the men to stop the raging war between the Athenians and the Spartans. To stop the war, the women withhold sex from their male counterparts, and take over the Acropolis for themselves. The women are indeed triumphant in their goals to stop the war, and the Athenians and Spartans come to an understanding. What is blatantly ignored, however, is that Aristophanes creates a gender war that, although seemingly rejoices the actions of the women, instead mocks the women’s power-struggle in a male dominated society, focuses on the male-privilege seen throughout the entirety of the play, and should be disregarded in the fact that this play...   [tags: Aristophanes play, ancient Greek drama]

Strong Essays
710 words (2 pages)

Analysis Of Homer 's ' The Odyssey ' Essay

- Traits can be embodied in a number of ways: to make one villainous, heroic, and even admirable. Certain characteristics can make an individual more admirable, depending on the society. This was the case in Homer’s fictional epic poem, “The Odyssey,” in which one can see how the ancient Greeks’ preferred some traits over others. The character traits that were most admired in ancient Greece were, intelligence, loyalty, and pride/reputation because To begin with, Odysseus frequently uses his intelligence as his main tool for overcoming his external conflicts....   [tags: Ancient Greece, Odyssey, Greek mythology, Circe]

Strong Essays
1202 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Greece : The Archaic Age Of Ancient Greece

- During the Archaic Age of Ancient Greece, circa 776-500 B.C.E., the population growth in Ancient Greece called a need for more food supplies, and this demand was met by trade, establishing colonies, and by warfare to seize more land (Making Europe 71). According to Kidner, the Archaic Age “brought a revival of culture, the economy, and political significance to Greece” (71). As Greece began to overpopulate, methods for dealing with the overpopulation had to be found, once of these methods was to import food, which caused an expansion of Greek commerce and production of trade goods (Making Europe 71)....   [tags: Ancient Greece, Greece, Archaic Greece, City-state]

Strong Essays
1493 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Ancient Greece

- Ancient Greece Greece The Greek peninsula has been culturally linked with the Aegean Islands, and the west coast of Asia Minor since the Neolithic Age. The numerous natural harbors and close-lying islands lead to a unified, maritime civilization. However cultural unity did not produce political unity. Mountain ranges and deep valleys separated the peninsula into small economic and political units. Constant feuding between cities and surrounding empires for political power made Greece the sight of many battles....   [tags: Ancient Greece Essays]

Free Essays
882 words (2.5 pages)

Ancient Greece Essay

- Ancient Greece GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION The Ancient Greek civilization was located on today’s Greek land, Ionian Islands, Asia Minor, South Italy, and Sicily. It is surrounded by mountains and in the north by water. The Ionian and the Aegean seas, together with natural islands and bays, gave the Greeks the opportunety to develop their maritime commerce and their rich culture. The mountains, which surrounded Greece, gave us the picture of its political character. From early times, the Greeks lived in independet settlements, and they were isolated from one another....   [tags: Ancient Greece Essays]

Strong Essays
1696 words (4.8 pages)

Ancient Greece Essay

- Ancient Greece This paper tells you about the Golden Age of Greece, which is from 500 to 350 BC. It tells about what Greeks did, who they worshipped, and other important things. The thing the Greeks are best known for, is their gods, and stories about them. The stories explained how things became. For instance, one story said that before the earth was made, there was a fight between a god, and a giant. The god killed the giant, and the parts of the giant became the earth. His teeth became the rocks, and his hair became the grass....   [tags: Ancient Greece Greek History]

Free Essays
1085 words (3.1 pages)