• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the roles of women in the Homeric epics. Give specific examples.

Extracts from this document...


From Greek perception of women, we can generally divide the Homeric women into two types. One is ominous and usually causes man to confront threatening situations. The other presents maternity and peace. The first type is Helen and Briseis in the Iliad; Circe and Calypso in the Odyssey. The second one includes Thetis and Andromache; Penelope and Nausicaa. ...read more.


Circe, a sorceress with magical power, invites Odysseus' crew to a feast and turns them into pigs. Calypso, a sea nymph, imprisons Odysseus in Ogygia for seven years in order to force him to be her immortal husband. The other kind of women has maternal and peaceful status. First, Thetis is concerned about her son Achilles, Andromache about Astyanax, Penelope about Telemachus. ...read more.


We know Odysseus will be safe if he comes through Poseidon's spite and goes back home. Nausicaa, the princess of an isolated country filled with peace, kindly welcomes Odysseus ensuring his return home. In general, the ill female figure in the Homeric epics usually results in the plights of men, especially of heroes; the women are seen as the cause of disorder. However, the modest type of women such as Penelope or Hecuba is a token of peace; they also share another similarity: they stand for the image of motherhood. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Classics essays

  1. The Portrayal of Women in the Odyssey

    This shows that Nausicaa is well-respected. She also cares about her image as a virtuous woman, because when Odysseus travels to the palace with her, he has to walk behind her, so that people didn't think they were together. Also, when Nausicaa takes Odysseus to meet her parents so that he can receive help from them,

  2. While researching and reading "The Odyssey" I have taken note of the many codes ...

    be provided with food, a place of comfort to rest, shelter and good company. My hypothesis is that since most Achaeans did not usually travel outside of their village, then it would be assumed that this person was on a mission; therefore the host is entitled to provide help and assistance.

  1. From the books that you have read, what do you think is the most ...

    This gives us an idea that the suitors aren't such a tough force after all. But is still means that they will be tough. Odysseus then began the battle by killing Antinous the leader. The suitors then promised Odysseus death, but Odysseus revealed his true identity to them.

  2. Classical Civilisations Essay: Telemachus

    He refers to Odysseus as 'admirable' and 'supreme' and tells him of his fathers last movements where there was an argument between Menelaus and Agamemnon and that Odysseus turned back towards Troy after setting out to return home. Telemachus is then sent by the old king to see Menelaus and Helen in Sparta.

  1. What can we learn from ancient sources about the role of Greek women in ...

    to the traditional image of the way Ancient Greek women were treated. Spartan women had a similar duty to that of the women in the rest of Greece - to reproduce. A source written by Plutarch about Lycurgus tells us about the reason for why he allowed women so many rights.

  2. To Dishonour Another Is To Doom Yourself

    the most important concepts present in the daily lives of the Ancient Greeks. It contains all of the traditional components of Ancient Greek drama, as it incorporates various religious and cultural rituals, powerful imagery and the foreshadowing of tragic events.

  1. Classics Essay, Compare and Contrast Penelope and Circe.

    The question is why did Circe want Odysseus to stay so long with her, did she really love him or was he just an lover, she let him go easily when he asked so maybe she did love him and wanted what was best for him, but if this was

  2. Write a diary from the point of view of Achilles' during the Trojan War

    Agamemnon didn?t take this to well and though he agreed that this would be the best course of action, the idea that he could take someone else?s prize somehow wound its way into his piggy little head. Of course I opened my mouth and protested and what does that fat oaf do?

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work