Greeks Gods and Goddesses in the Iliad

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October 23, 2006

The Image of Females Goddesses and Mortals

The role of the Gods is a constant theme reoccurring over and over again throughout Homer's Iliad but it's the Female Goddesses and the image of femininity that displays contradiction. The Goddesses posses large amounts of power over mortals and at Mt Olympus mostly through manipulation and intertwining relationships that affect the war and the different individuals. The mortal women on the other hand display weaknesses and subservience to men. The war over Troy was sparked over Helen or was used as an excuse or motivation for the Achaeans to invade for Menelaus's property. Helen was Menelaus's wife a beautiful woman whose beauty was legendary. The image and place of women in Homeric Society is different for goddesses and mere mortals. The contradiction between behavior of mortal women and Goddesses is evident throughout the Iliad which over the entire poem interaction between gods and men change. The female roles in Homeric society in the Iliad display women as property, stubborn qualities, and manipulative. These roles differ from mortal and goddesses but some consistency by Homer is evident in all the books of the Iliad in reference or description of women.

The war as a whole began on the failure of a wife to be loyal to her husband. The withdrawal of Achilles from the war until the death of Patroclus was in essence about Briseis the captive of Achilles taken by Agamemnon. The poem throughout discusses ideals of ownership, honor, and status which can be measured by the amount of slaves, mistresses, and armor acquired in battle. Achilles takes Briseis as his captor from a previous battle and likewise so does Agamemnon which his result just happened to cause destruction on behalf of Apollo. The mortal ideal of primitive ownerships of women does not apply to marriages. Women are independent but subordinate to their husband's ideals and influence. There is a social structure among the...
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