Feminism and the Power Struggle of Women in Ancient Greece Essay

Feminism and the Power Struggle of Women in Ancient Greece Essay

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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.

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