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Women in the Iliad and the Odyssey

Despite the fact that scholars continue to disagree over whether the poetic works attributed to the Ionian poet Homer are the products of a single author or the culmination of hundreds of years of Greek redaction and revision, the Iliad and the Odyssey continue to be regarded as seminal pieces of Western literature.  Regardless of their originator, these two epic poems not only offer timeless, universal insights into themes such as personal responsibility, heroism, and the nature of warfare, they also encapsulate many aspects of Greek culture and society that might otherwise be lost to modern readers.

Women in the Iliad and the Odyssey

One important element of the Iliad and the Odyssey is the portrayal of female characters within both poems. Although with the exception of several major goddesses, the female characters in the texts are not typically regarded as pivotal to the unfolding action, thematic development, or the plot, careful scrutiny of the female characters’ roles in the narrative provides a valuable glimpse into the Greek perception of women. In a women in the Iliad and the Odyssey term paper, the writer should examine Homer’s treatment of mortal and divine women, and the roles, behaviors, and narrative functions of both minor and major female characters in the Iliad and the Odyssey.

In the Iliad, the events that take place in the days leading up to the conclusion of the Trojan war, when a public insult spurs warrior Achilleus to withdrawal from the battle. The majority of the poem outlines the ramifications of this quarrel between Achilleus and Agamemnon, and the ultimately cataclysmic results of this decision.

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