Water and Womanhood in Ancient Greece Essay

Water and Womanhood in Ancient Greece Essay

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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. In fact, many sea monsters are said to be female including Charybdis and Scylla (the horrors between which Odysseus and his crew must sail through the Strait of Messina), and the sea was often given a female personality and character traits. Ceto, particularly, was the feminine embodiment of the dangers which the sea held, and Amphitrite was one other powerful, feminine sea goddess. The connection between terrors of the sea and the female persona may not be presented with the utmost clarity right away; however, it is possible to use symbolic history, cultural normalities of the time, and a brief glance at the ancient Greek view of sexuality to help discover these mysteries.

Symbols for water and womanhood have been known to coincide greatly, essentially since the beginning of the history of recorded symbols. The inverted triangle was an especially prominent emblem when it comes to this matter, as it was used to represent both the flow of water (or sometimes a cup, or chalice), as well as the shape of the female reproductive organs and genitalia. These similarities were not contained only to written symbols, but to rather more abstract symbolism as well. O...


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...tainly made theirs far more interesting than many other cultures.




Works Cited

"Disaster Archaeology - Women in the Marine Mythology of Ancient Mediterranean Their Roles & Symbolisms - By:Dr. George Pararas-Carayannis and Dr. Amanda Laoupi." Disaster Pages of Dr. George PC. Web. .
Symbolism between women and water


Grimal, Pierre. The Dictionary of Classical Mythology. Oxford, England: Blackwell, 1985.

Perseus Digital Library. Web. .

Theoi Greek Mythology, Exploring Mythology & the Greek Gods in Classical Literature & Art. Web. .
Used for collection of various primary facts

Walcot, P. "Greek Attitudes towards Women: The Mythological Evidence." Greece and Rome XXXI.1 (1984). JSTOR. Web.
Greek views of sexuality; cultural effects

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