The Role of the Women in Greek Mythology Essay

In the text Mythology by Edith Hamilton. adult females are portrayed as being belongings and objects. During this clip adult females were seen to be non every bit “good” as work forces. They saw flawlessness in relationships between work forces and immature male grownups as the best relationships to hold. However. homosexualism was frowned upon. Work force were considered knowing and educated. but adult females were seen as a load placed on adult male by the Gods. When it came to adult females nil was valuable about them but their beauty. When a adult female was beautiful she was wanted by many work forces: a adult male would make about anything to hold the ownership of a beautiful adult female and have her as his belongings.

It was as if a woman’s function was to merely be a man’s beautiful ownership and to reproduce the line of descent of a male or if he had a girl. the means to procure power through matrimony. Atalanta a character from the text Mythology. was a beautiful maiden who was the girl of the male monarch. When her male parent proverb that he had been given a girl alternatively of a male child he was really acrimonious and defeated. she was so left on a mountain side. From this. one can presume that work forces did non experience misss were worthy of being raised and taken attention of in topographic point of holding male childs.

Alternatively of deceasing. she was taken attention of by a she-bear. and she grew up to be a really fast. make bolding miss. Atalanta vowed to remain a virgin and would ne’er acquire married. She was non interested in work forces except for as comrades in runing. However. many work forces found her to be beautiful and so became interested in get marrieding her. Because of this attending Atalanta so came up with a program. Therefore. Atalanta decided she would hold all the suers race her. and whoever won the race would be her hubby. If the suers in the race were lapped by Atalanta or they lost. so they would be killed.

Even on such difficult conditions many work forces took the opportunity of put on the lining their lives merely to get married her and hold her as their married woman. Although she out ran many work forces. work forces would still try this race for her manus in matrimony. In other words work forces did non see adult females as being deserving anything unless they were she beautiful. hence doing her a man’s award ownership. Furthermore. among the remainder of the suers was a adult male named Hippomenes who was favored by Aphrodite. the goddess of love. Aphrodite wanted to assist Hippomenes and gave him three aureate apples.

He used these apples to do Atalanta halt running to see what he had dropped. By dropping these apples he had so gained the opportunity to catch up to her. After dropping all the apples. Hippomenes had won the race. and the two were married. The suer went through so much to get married Atalanta that he did non even halt to believe that he would non hold been able to win this race if it was non for the aid of a God or goddess. Therefore. after all he had done and risked to win this race. in the terminal. they both were turned into king of beastss for an evident insult to Zeus or Aphrodite ( p. 251 ) .

In add-on to the work forces deceasing to hold ownership of Atalanta. many work forces besides fought and died for a adult female named Helen. Helen was considered the most beautiful adult female in all of Greece. Due to her beauty. Helen was so married to the King of Sparta. She served as the King’s beautiful award and ownership. Helen’s beauty was so overpowering that Theseus and Paris kidnapped her from her hubby Menelaus. and took her to Troy. Upset that his ownership had been taken. the male monarch so sent 100s of his Grecian soldiers into conflict with Paris ; Helen being the chief ground for the war known as the “Trojan War” .

These work forces put their lives on the line and the lives of many others merely to hold this one adult female because of her beauty. This was non the instance for merely Helen. this had happened to another adult female every bit good. There had besides been a wrangle between Achilles and Agamemnon. while debating who would hold ownership of a adult female named Chryseis. Chryseis was the girl of Apollo’s priest ; the Grecian took her and gave her to Agamemnon. Because of this her male parent went to him to implore for his girl back but Agamemnon did non desire to allow her travel. the God Agamemnon comments. “but if I lose her who was my award of honor…I will hold another in her stead” ( p. 61 ) .

Many work forces felt as though they had to hold the most beautiful adult females in Greece as their trophies. As a consequence. a big conflict had been created between the Trojans and the Spartans all because of a adult female they wanted. Helen sat in her palace while 1000s of work forces fought and died for her. and no 1 felt that Helen was the to fault for what was go oning. Grecian work forces believed this is what work forces must contend for. “men must contend for such as she… for her face was like to that of an immortal spirit” ( p. 263 ) . mentioning to her non as a individual but as a award or object.

Because of Helen’s adored beauty there were deceases of many heroes. including the Achaeans. Achilles and Ajax. and the Trojans. Hector and Paris. They fought for Helen as if she was an object in which they had to hold as their belongings. This besides shows what function a woman’s beauty can hold in a Grecian man’s life. Just as Helen had captured the eyes of many work forces. ensuing in them contending over her pure beauty. another character named Hera takes advantage of what she could make with her expressions. Hera was the married woman and one of the three sisters of the God Zeus ; she was the goddess of adult females and matrimony.

Here uses her beauty to seek and alter the consequence of the war in her favour. “She went to her chamber and used every art she knew to do herself beautiful beyond compare” ( p. 268 ) . cognizing that Zeus would non defy her lovely expressions. Hera’s program was to deflect Zeus from watching the Trojans defeat the Spartans in the war. By deflecting Zeus. the conflict would so be under the Greeks control. From this. it is evident that a adult female could ever catch a adult male with her beauty. no affair how intense or focused he would hold been.

It is apparent that during this clip the chief function and footings that characterized a adult female were her beauty. which made her a choice ownership to any adult male. and the fact that she could bear kids for her male opposite number. Anything that alluded to a female being smart or holding endowment and non being beautiful was negative in a Grecian man’s head. Atalanta’s father made it clear that he wanted nil to make with taking attention of a female ; it was stated in the text “she was non worthy of being brought up” ( p. 246 ) . in topographic point of him holding a boy born to him. Hippomenes showed that he would make merely about anything to win Atalanta as his married woman and trophy.

Menelaus started a war because his most valuable ownership. his beautiful married woman. who had been taken off from him by another adult male who desired her merely every bit much as he did. Besides. Here used her beauty to her advantage to deflect her hubby Zeus from assisting the Trojans in the war. Through these illustrations one can reason that a women’s function in Greek mythology was simple and controlled by being beautiful and a man’s award or ownership. Because they found work forces to be superior over adult females. adult females were considered to be merely good for their beauty and reproduction for the male progeny.


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