Essay by SymoneHigh School, 11th gradeC+, March 2004

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The Role of Women in the Illiad

·Women in the Illiad demonstrate the importance of women in the lives of the ancient Greeks because they are so prominent in a story so dominated with military affairs.

·Greek men were plain about what they thought was an ideal women. Even an Artemis was hard for them to deal with. Even though they did not need to use their wives for sex, I doubt they would have wanted such a wife. The sad thing is that women who were not suited to be a wife, really had no place. Fortunately, the emphasis was placed on the family so, if a person could be productive in the family, they would probably be taken care of. Without a supportive family you were out in the street, and you probably could not live long there.

·The Greeks idolized women, but many cultures did not. What the culture does is define roles and expectations for its members.

These are incoporated in rituals, taboos, stories, and laws. The Greeks went beyond and defined deities that were women. Some societies have removed the female sex from the devine.

·Even thought the Illiad is essentially a description of a battle, still there are a wide variety of women discussed. This is a tribute to the importance of women. There are goddesses, queens, wives, maidservants and concubines. Each of these different women have a different role to play.

·One of the joys of Homer is his universality, and one aspect of that is the relevance of what he says to life in general. And this is still true. It is odd that he would include so many women characters in what is on the face of it a battle story and an adventure story, but this oddness gives him more...