The role of women in “The Iliad” by Homer Essay Sample
The role of women in “The Iliad” by Homer Essay Sample

The role of women in “The Iliad” by Homer Essay Sample

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Throughout the ages, many people feel they have a statement to do and do this statement through literature.

Although at first glimpse, Homer’s “Iliad” may non look to be an unfavorable judgment of society, underneath all the force and deep plot lines, there is a message decreasing to acquire out. In the civilization of the Iliad mortal adult females are treated as belongings instead of human existences. While the Gods effort to handle the goddesses in the same manner, the goddesses are speedy to asseverate themselves and claim equal power. This is Homer’s manner of stating that the attitude towards adult females in his clip period is incorrect and undue. While workforces worship goddesses, they still treat adult females as lesser existences. Many times throughout the heroic adult females are treated as be


longings and frequently talked about as “prizes” of “gifts.”

This is shown from the get downing with Chryseis when Chryses, her male parent, brings “a rich hoarded wealth to redeem his daughter” ( 11 ) because instead than sing her merely as belongings, he loves her more than all his hoarded wealth and wealthy. Agamemnon nevertheless views her as his award and will non allow her travel because to him she does not intend anything more than that he was able to take her. He doesn’t recognize that to Chryses she is more than mere belongings, she is his girl and he has feelings for her.

This class leads to the biggest show of looking down on adult females in the whole book, which is of class the statement over Briseis in book one. When Agamemnon eventually decides that for the greater good he will giv

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back Chryseis he gets huffy at those who tell him and takes Achilles’ “prize” merely to disrespect him. He even states to Achilles that he is traveling to take Briseis himself “to demo how much stronger I am than you are. Then others will take attention non to stand up to me.” ( 14 ) It is similar to a bully taking a small kid’s plaything in the resort area and the puerility of the workforces over the awards is merely continued when Achilles runs and calls to his Mother to acquire it back for him.

Subsequently on in the book, there are more illustrations of adult females being used as currency, such as when Agamemnon offers the many gifts to Achilles to seek and acquire him to contend once more. He attempts to purchase Achilles’ trueness with gifts instead of apologizing and coming to better footings with Achilles. He is stating that he is still more powerful than Achilles and is paying him with lands, belongings, and adult females.

Agamemnon offers many different objects including “seven adult females adept in women’s work, the most beautiful adult females in the world” ( 107 ) to try to purchase Achilles into the conflict. Even the arrangement of the words is interesting because, during the long philippic of hoarded wealth offered to Achilles, the adult females are mentioned non at the terminal as if they are different than all the other hoarded wealth or at the beginning as if they are the most of import, but right after Agamemnon mentions the Equus caballuss, which are described as “grand animals which have won awards in the race. ” ( 107


This is Homer’s effort to demo a similarity to the Equus caballuss and the adult females, as a manner to depict how adult females are treated by workforces of the age. Both the adult females and the Equus caballuss are described as being brilliant-looking and stand out in what they do. This shows that the Greeks did non-esteem adult females as people, but much like racehorses or tools; owned and at that place to function an intent. In the heroic poem, Homer even shows the Gods trying to handle the goddesses as if they are non as good. and can be bossed around and told what to make. Zeus himself treats Hera, his married woman, and Athena, his girl, as lesser existences whom he can command. He tells them non to interfere in the conflict or to assist either side, and they listen since they are afraid of him.

He tells them to allow destine to make up one's mind and they are fooled into believing that they are non every bit good as he is for a short piece. They merely stay out of the conflict for the fright of Zeus being displeased with them, and for this clip, the Trojans run rampant on the Grecian ground forces. However subsequently on in the narrative, the goddesses realize that they are able to assist and stand up to Zeus Cloudgatherer. In book 14 Hera decides she will take affairs into her ain manus during the conflict by Flim-flaming Zeus and “began at one time to intrigue how she might juggle him. ” ( 167 )

She decides to mouse him a love potion and score him, so

wait for him to fall asleep. This book shows that Hera is non-powerless at all, even though she is merely an adult female and she is able to carry both Aphrodite, and the God of slumber to assist her trick, Zeus. This is a really humorous and interesting book in which Hera is proven to be really cute and smart, even though she is an adult female.

This is demoing that adult females should non be thought of as weak and unable to make things, much the same as the many times that Athena takes a portion in the conflict. She is non merely shown as fierce and craft, but frequently times is able to overmaster even other male Gods, such as in book five when together with Diomedes, she faces Ares, the God of war, and “Athena drove the spear heterosexual into his belly where the kilt was girded. ” ( 73 )

This non merely shows Athena, a female, to be greater than Ares, a male, but I believe is besides Homer’s manner of demoing the reader that the Gods are more like persons than is normally believed. It is about as if he is stating that if a female God can dreadfully injure a male God in combat and prove him to be much less unbeatable than earlier believed, then possibly mere mortal adult females can be equal to workforces.

“The Iliad” by home run is one of the greatest heroic poems of history and every individual who reads it, in no affair what linguistic communication, can acquire their ain message from the timeless text. One of the most outstanding, while still being slight of

an undertone, is the message that adult females are equal to workforces and that society’s attitude towards adult females in the clip was neither right nor acceptable, particularly in a society with so many goddesses being worshipped. At the clip “The Iliad” was written, conditions for adult females were nowhere nigh every bit good as they are now and Homer would be really pleased to see today’s social attitude towards adult females.

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