Essay about The Role of Women in Ancient Greece as Depicted in Homer’s The Odyssey

Essay about The Role of Women in Ancient Greece as Depicted in Homer’s The Odyssey

Length: 905 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Role of Women in Ancient Greece as Depicted in Homer’s The Odyssey

Women as Citizens

For this informative report I will attempt to point out the roles women and how they are viewed in ancient Greece. I will then show how these views are present in Homer’s "The Odyssey." How are women, goddess or mortal, conveyed in "The Odyssey?"

"The Odyssey" was written around 700 BC during the Archaic period (750 – 550 BC). This was a time of great economical and social change in Greek history due to massive migration that led to the development of new city-states (called the polis) as well as laws to govern them. Citizenship and political rights give a good indication of women’s roles in Greek society. In Homer’s time citizens were apparently male heads of households (Adkins, 26). Women married to a male citizen were given the term "female citizen" and had no political rights (Martin, WEB1). The reason for this false citizen ship was to protect them from being kidnapped and sold as slaves (Martin, WEB1). All laws governing the inhabitants of Greece were written and enforced by men. Women could not defend themselves with these laws either. Men regulated the lives of women and "every woman had an official male guardian to protect them physically and legally" (Martin, WEB1). A woman could not receive an inheritance because the law of inheritance were through the male line (Adkins, 28). Although men were only married to one woman, it was not against the law for him to have sexual relations with his female slaves or other free (unmarried) woman (Martin, 69). A woman does not possess these same rights "and adultery carried harsh penalties for wives" (Martin, 69). After reading these laws and rights of ancient Greek civilization, it is ...

... middle of paper ...

...erences of ancient Greece. I hope you will keep in mind the role and view of women in ancient Greece when you read mythology stories and the poems by Homer when you come across the goddesses and mortal women in these stories.
Works Cited
Lesley Adkins, and Roy A. Adkins. Handbook to Life in Ancient Greece. Facts on file, 1997
Thomas R. Martin. Ancient Greece from Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times. Yale University Press, 1996.
J.P. Mahaffy. Old Greek Life. D. Appleton and Company, 1880.
Sue Blundell. Women in Ancient Greece. Harvard University Press, 1995.
Thomas R. Martin. "Overview of Archaic and Classical Greek History." WEB1
Thomas R. Martin. "Overview of Archaic and Classical Greek History." WEB2

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Water and Womanhood in Ancient Greece Essay

- In the times of ancient Greece, there were ample tales, myths, and legends surrounding the realm of the sea; many of which included fearsome beasts, epic struggles, and angered gods. There are tales of vengeance, spite, cruelty, and rage, but there are also those of understanding, compassion, helpfulness, and benevolence. When one subjects many of the more malevolent (and sometimes disturbing) tales to closer inspection, it becomes fairly evident that a great number of these stories use a feminine force in order to display the wraith of the sea and the sea gods or goddesses....   [tags: Women in Marine Mythology, Ancient Mediterranean]

Better Essays
2212 words (6.3 pages)

The Conflict Of Ancient Greek Civilization Essay

- Ancient Greek civilization was one of the most complex eras in all history. They revolutionized how we think in modern day about philosophy, art, politics, and law. “Women have not been omitted through forgetfulness or mere prejudice. The structural sexism of most academic disciplines contributes actively to the production and perpetuation of a gender hierarchy.” Griselda Pollock said Even like the modern world we live in today, the subject of gender roles is still in question. Today women are still fighting for equal rights, it has taken century’s for men not to treat women as objects or property, and its going to take even longer for women in modern day to be fully equal to a male....   [tags: Gender, Gender role, Female, Ancient Greece]

Better Essays
857 words (2.4 pages)

Gender Dynamics Of Ancient Greece Essay

- ... While this is a precarious mold to fulfill from the start, Powell then continues with the true nature of the woman in which “women were likely to behave in ways the contrasted sharply with this ideal. Fired by an insatiable sexual appetite, the woman depicted in literature often are ready to lie and scheme to achieve their selfish aims” (38). This outlook on women is one that is unpleasant and cold to say the least, but Powell does not stand alone in his understanding of the woman’s life. Hesiod affirms Powell’s ideas of the gender dynamics in his own attitude towards women depicted in his work Works and Days showcased in Powell’s novel Classical Myth....   [tags: Woman, Gender, Gender role, Female]

Better Essays
1044 words (3 pages)

Essay on Women’s Roles in the Ancient Greece

- All throughout Greek history you hear all about the men of the Olympics. However, you don’t hear much about the women of the time. The sources that survived over the years were even written by men for men. Women on the other hand really weren’t apart of the story. The surviving structures such as temples, buildings and battlegrounds all speak of a man’s world. Surviving works of art feature women in various guises, but rarely give an insight into any other kind of world. The place of women in ancient Greece is summed up most acutely in the book Images of Women in Antiquity by saying “the greatest glory of a woman is to be least talked about by men, whether in praise or blame” (Cameron and Ku...   [tags: Greek History, Men of the Olympics, Gender Roles]

Better Essays
1386 words (4 pages)

Ancient Greece : An Oral And Literary Style Of Telling Myths Essay example

- ... For example, Athena is shown in many depictions featuring heroes, however, her helmet, spear, shield and aegis would differentiate her from any other female goddesses like Demeter or Hera. During scenes of battle, often characters may be depicted as fighting someone strangely formed. This was present in later depictions of the Gigantomachy, as the giants would appear to have snake legs, but also in the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur (fig 9). There was only one Minotaur, so when a half-bull, half-man creature is shown in a piece of art, it is likely to be Theseus shown fighting it....   [tags: Greek mythology, Heracles, Poseidon, Zeus]

Better Essays
1054 words (3 pages)

Poetry From China, Egypt, And Greece Essay

- ... However, despite invasions and disputes, it was also deemed fairly stable with an emphasis on artistry. Due to times of stress and tranquility, his lyrics emphasized greatness in spiritual values. Li Bo’s work referred and accentuated the beauty of nature and worldly beliefs. Often times, his work discussed topics of heaven, nature, and human struggles, both mental and physical. Li Bo’s poems, rather than focused on love between two people, were mostly directed towards the love of nature and the community....   [tags: Poetry, Love, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome]

Better Essays
960 words (2.7 pages)

The role of Women in Greece Essay examples

- Greek women, as depicted as in their history and literature, endure many hardships and struggle to establish a meaningful status in their society. In the Odyssey, Penelope’s only role in the epic is to support Odysseus and remain loyal to him. She is at home and struggles to keep her family intact while Odysseus is away trying to return to his native land. The cultural role of women is depicted as being supportive of man and nothing more. Yet what women in ancient Greece did long ago was by far more impressive than what men did....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1539 words (4.4 pages)

The Argument Of Ancient Greek Historians Essays

- We do not know who ruled Crete. This is due to the fact that a lot of the archaeological evidence on Crete has been destroyed. While some historians believe that Crete was ruled by a king, others believe that it was ruled by a group of priestesses. The Argument of Ancient greek Historians The ancient historians all suggests that there was a monarchy on Crete. Specifically, they argue that there was a king, named Minos, who ruled Crete. However, archaeologists have not yet uncovered any evidence which proves that Minos existed....   [tags: Minoan civilization, Knossos, Crete, Linear B]

Better Essays
1132 words (3.2 pages)

Essay The Growth of the Ancient Roman

- The growth of the Ancient Roman In this paper, I am going to talk about the ancient Roman. The ancient Romans are world famous. At least, I believe that no one would never heard of them. Everyone would probably have heard of the Romans are very dominant in their time and very powerful. And of course, the details are not known by everyone, unless those who had studied their history. In the following paragraphs, I would like to briefly introduce about the Rome and how they are formed, their eminent events, and the process of their rise and their declination....   [tags: prosperity, struggles]

Better Essays
1150 words (3.3 pages)

Ancient Greek Classicism Essay

- Like the Egyptians, artwork and architecture of the Greek Classical Age followed a canon of more freely accepted idealistic forms. While “proportion and order are guiding principles of the classical style” (Fiero 116), other features also played a significant role. These three major ideas, used in combination, are the Humanistic approach, the Realistic approach, and the Idealistic approach. The “Relief with a Dancing Maenad”, is a classical style of art that represents a time when “dance was prized for its moral value, as well as for its ability to give pleasure and induce good health” (Fiero 129)....   [tags: Culture]

Better Essays
868 words (2.5 pages)