Women as Heroes in Homer's "The Iliad" Essay by Kimberly

Women as Heroes in Homer's "The Iliad"
An analysis of the role of women in Homer's "The Iliad".
# 154062 | 1,825 words | 3 sources | 2014 | US
Published on Nov 06, 2014 in English (Argument) , English (Analysis) , Women Studies (Historical Figures)


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From the Paper:

"In Homer's epic The Iliad, one envisions the light bearer Hector walking, armor clad, helmet held to his side, collecting light even from within his palace. We see his strength. Through the words of Homer we encounter bravery manifested. We are also introduced to Achilles, a god-like warrior who never turns away from the face of death on the battlefield, an extinguisher of lives who lives only for glory. However, many who have read The Iliad might not have picked up on a revelation made obvious by Homer's words, the revelation that the male warrior is not the sole savior or hero of the epic. It is indeed the female who is heroic as well, in that she is the narrator of the culture, the orator of the environment. It is the women characters that make their presence seen, the ones who come to the aid of brave masculine warriors during the times when they are drained. It is the women within the story who help our heroes rediscover their strength and their purpose.
"In The Iliad, we are introduced to the "rage" of Achilles, a rage that developed through an open assembly. The assembly is called on behalf of Achilles; its goal is to question the decision made by the warlord Agamemnon to keep his prize, his spoil of war, Chryseis. In keeping his prize, Agamemnon has angered the god Apollo whose rage has taken the lives of many of the Greek soldiers. The call for an assembly is not conceived by Achilles himself. The idea is, in fact, delivered to him by the goddess Hera. Homer writes, "Hera, the white-armed goddess, planted the thought in him because she cared for the Greeks and it pained her to see them dying" (l. 63). This is the first encounter we have where the gods are taking part in this battle raged between mortals. By calling this assembly, Achilles is creating an open forum in which to address the warlord/king Agamemnon, fully aware that something is to come from this assembly. By addressing his fellow soldiers about the wrongdoings being committed by their king, Achilles is preparing to create a stir within the camp. A power struggle is destined to be the end result, an idea Hera had planted in Achilles' head."

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