Eng 112 DEK
15 May 2013
The Illiad: Ancient Origin of Gender Base
In The Illiad, written by Homer, is an epic poem that chronicles the Trojan War, which lasted ten years. It is the oldest piece of European literature and was written in the 8th or 9th century B.C. It covers the last year of the war. The war is fought over Helen of Troy between the Trojans and Greeks (referred to as Achaeans). There are historical and Greek mythological elements contained. The average Greek would have been familiar with its content. It portrays gods with human characters and flaws, the brutality of war, divine intervention, deceit and selfishness on the part of gods and men, and ultimately death.
Mortal women in The Illiad, are seen as prizes. They are hoarded as possessions.
Many of the mortal women in this epic poem have no influence
over the decisions that involve their well being and are seen as
merely as awards and possessions of men. …are seen as only
prizes who contribute to a male’s pride and ego. Women are
depicted in The Iliad as individuals who lack the power to in-
fluence or impact their personal lives or others in ways that do
not involve contributing to the sex, pride or ego in males. (1-8)
Hudson 2 There is gender base among the gods, which naturally trickles down to their patrons. American society parallels Greek society in many aspects, one this paper will focus on is gender base bias. This paper will examine if the origins of today’s society gender base bias are contained within the pages of The Illiad.
Homer begins the poem with a dispute over a kidnapped priest’s daughter. Here, Homer illustrates the perception of Greek society’s view of women. The woman was viewed as a bargaining chip for male pleasure. Her father asks for her to be freed to which the...