(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

The Role of Women in the Iliad and the Odyssey

            From the Bronze Age to present day, the role of women continues to evolve on many different levels. This continuing evolution is evident in Homer's prolific poems the Illiad and the Odyssey, Whether mortal or immortal, caregiver or monster, the women in each tale played various important roles as each story is set within the timeframe of the Trojan War. .
             We first look at Hera, Zeus" wife and Queen of the Gods. Headstrong but very connving, she plays a strong role in the ongoing war and often went above her husband on their many disagreements. Like many women of her time and present day, she was not afraid to truly stand on her own. Along with her daughter Aethna, she works against the Trojans and despises them with a passion. A key evidence of this is in Book 1 of the Illiad when she uses Athena to appear before Achilles as he prepares to kill Agamennon, the Achaen commander. She uses Aethna to "check" the rage of Achilles. Next, we look at The Godness of Wisdom, Athena. Headstrong like her mother, Athena was the nurturing voice of reason but also very passionate in her hatred of the Trojans. When she appears before Achilles, she tells him "I come to check your rage if only you will yield"[Norton 125]. Through her words, she was able to prevent Achilles from physically killing Agamennon, however she did encourage Achilles to hurl insults in lieu of the former. Like her mother, Athena held key roles in their roles as Goddesses-they served as catalysts in partially determining several key functions, including death and peace. .
             The women of these tales also display an element that continues to lie in many women today: a very strong maternal instinct. This element lies within Aphrodite and Thetis, mothers to Aenas and Achilles, respectively. In each of the relationships, the bond that each mother-son pair shares is evident. Athena also portrays this element when she protects Mealnus from the shooting arrow shot by Pandrus.

Essays Related to The Role of Women in the Iliad and the Odyssey

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question