Representation of Women in Literature Term Paper by Nicky

Representation of Women in Literature
A look at portrayals of women in various classic literary works.
# 148591 | 1,834 words | 9 sources | MLA | 2011 | US

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This paper presents a broad overview of several classic works of ancient literature, focusing on their representations of women. First, the paper describes the importance of literature in understanding a culture and its times. Then, it evaluates a number of works, including "The Epic of Gilgamesh", "The Iliad", "The Odyssey" and "The Aeneid." Female characters from each work are highlighted, described, compared and contrasted. In particular, the paper notes that consumers of ancient literature were men and that representations of females may have been geared for this audience. The paper concludes by citing how in "The Aeneid" the role of women in society, and therefore in the work, had evolved from that of Homer's female characters.

From the Paper:

"A study of the evolution of gender roles in time and space would be suitable to start with the story o Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk. The story was never known by the historians of the Ancient times since it had been discovered and translated into modern language only a couple of hundreds of years ago. Although it is full of symbols and references that are still to be explored and explained, it represents one major source in discovering the meaning and representation of the women and sexual relationships two thousand seven hundred years BC, in ancient Mesopotamia."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Church, Alfred J., and Homer. The Iliad of Homer. New York: Biblo and Tannen, 1951.
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh. Trans. Maureen Gallery Kovacs. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1989.
  • Graham, A. J. "1 The Odyssey, History, and Women." The Distaff Side: Representing the
  • Female in Homer's Odyssey. Ed. Beth Cohen. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Buitron, Diana. Cohen, Oliver Beth. Between Skylla and Penelope: Female Characters of the Odyssey in Archaic and Classical Greek Art. Ed. Beth Cohen. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995

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