Women in Epics - University of Vermont

Women in Epics - University of Vermont

WOMEN IN EPICS By Sierra Sexton AMAZONS: QUEEN PENTHESILEA oQueen Penthesilea is from the five book epic Aethiopis. Which is part of the Epic Cycle. oShe arrives into the epic with the description of her and fellow amazons arrive to Troy in an effort to aid the Trojans in the war against the Greeks. oShe famously fights Achilles after a full day of fighting Greek soldiers. She is killed by Achilles and after she has fallen dead, he removes her helmet and is said to have fallen in love with her. oIt is also said that Thersites mocks Achilles for his love and that is why he is killed by Achilles.

DIDO oDido is the founder and Queen of Carthage, and appears throughout the Aeneid. oThere are multiple myths outside of The Aeneid for the events that lead Dido to found Carthage, but in the Aeneid it is said that when her husband is killed by the king he appears to her and tells her to flee the country with those who feared or hated the king. She did this and settled in present day Libya. She convinces the Berber king Larbas to give her a small piece of land only one so large that could be encompassed by an oxhide. Larbas agrees and Dido cuts the hide into very fine strips and she had enough to encircle a small hill. This hill became Carthage and many of the local Berbers moved there and lived with those who Dido traveled with. oIn the Aeneid, after Carthage had become wealthy, Dido and Aeneas fall in love due to

the actions of Juno and Venus (Hera and Aphrodite). The king, Larbas became very angry when he found out about Dido and Aeneas , because he desired Dido for himself. Larbas who is a son of Jupiter (Zeus) prayed to his father, who answered by sending Mercury (Hermes) to direct Aeneas to leave for Italy. oWhen Aeneas leaves Carthage Dido builds a pyre to burn all of Aeneass things but really it is to end her life. From it she sees the Greek ships departing and curses Aeneas and proclaims that there will always be hate between Carthage and Trojans. She then impales herself on a sword that Aeneas had given to her. DIDO oAeneas does later encounter her when he is in the underworld and she shuns him and instead

turns and goes to where her first husband is waiting. oWas the wife of Odysseus. Fended off the 108 suiters during the 20 years Odysseus was gone fighting in the Trojan War. oShe used her wit and tricks to keep all the suitors at bay and is described as incredibly gifted and smart. oShe appears during the Odyssey and is not seen outside of mentions in other epics. PENELOPE oAthena plays a part in this

processes as Odysseus is her favored Greek Hero. MEDEA oMedea is the wife of the Greek hero Jason. She appears throughout the epic Argonautica, and is the main reason that Jason is able to successfully complete all his tasks and win the Golden Fleece. oMedea is the granddaughter of the god Helios and the niece of the goddess Circe. She is described as very skilled in the art of magic, and uses it to help Jason complete his tasks. oDuring the Argonautica, Medea falls in love with Jason and makes a deal with him to help him in his tasks and in turn he will take her with him and they will marry. In each of his tasks, Medea plays a vital role in ensuring that Jason will succeed, this culminates in her putting the dragon which protected the fleece to sleep, so that Jason can take it. oMedea plays a vital role during Jason's return voyage as well. And upon their return to Lolcus, Greece, Medea was the one who convinced King Pelias own daughters kill him so that

Jason can claim is inheritance and throne. MEDEA oMedea later appears in the Athenian tragedy Medea. This tragedy is the story of the ending of the ten year marriage between Jason and Medea. oIn it Jason abandons Medea so that he can marry the Corinth princess Glauce. In retribution for his abandonment, Medea poisons Glauce and her father the king, Creon. And as further punishment for Jason, she kills two of her sons with Jason and travels away on a flying chariot pulled by dragons, sent by her grandfather Helios. oAfter this Medea moves multiple times marries several more times. When she is in Thebes she heles Heracles from the curse of Hera. oMedea is described like no other women in ancient Greek epics. She is completely

independent of man and she acts in accordance with only her own wishes and controlling her own destiny from when she is forced to fall in love with Jason. WOMEN'S CHARACTERI ZATIONS LINKS TO WOMENS RIGHTS Each of these women represent a different representation of the Greek Women. That definition evolves with Greek culture and is influenced by different works as there were written. Barbara Olsen in THE WORLDS OF PENELOPE: WOMEN IN THE MYCENAEAN AND HOMERIC ECONOMIES, shows that the epic

model leaves no room for women to engage in public environments. This created the false history that women belonged only in the home. Pierre Brul shows that evolution did show that changes literary representation did affect the evolution of womens rights in ancient Greek women.1 BIBLEOGRAPHY - Olsen, B. (2015). THE WORLDS OF PENELOPE: WOMEN IN THE MYCENAEAN AND HOMERIC ECONOMIES 1. Arethusa, 48(2), 107-138. - Keith, A. (2000). Engendering Rome : Women in Latin epic / A.M. Keith. (Roman literature and its contexts). Cambridge [England] ; New York: Cambridge University Press. - Brul, P. (2003). Women of ancient Greece / Pierre Brul ; translated by Antonia Nevill. (English ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Brul, Pierre, and Antonia Nevill. Women of the Epics. Women of Ancient Greece, Edinburgh University Press, 2003, pp. 4373. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.3366/j.ctt1r25hx.7. -Katz, Marilyn. Ideology and The Status of Women in Ancient Greece. History and Theory, vol. 31, no. 4, 1992, pp. 7097. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/2505416.

-Mayor, A. (2014). The Amazons : Lives and legends of warrior women across the ancient world / Adrienne Mayor. -The Trojan War. Ancient Numismatic Mythology, Ancient Numismatic Mythology, ancientcoinage.org/the-trojan-war.html. -Palumbo-Liu, Fabrice, and Adrienne Mayor. Stanford Researcher Explores the Truths behind Myths of Ancient Amazons. Stanford University, Stanford University, 28 Oct. 2014, news.stanford.edu/news/2014/october/amazons-truth-book-10-28-2014.html. -Hadas, Moses. Medea. Ten Plays by Euripides, edited by John McLean, Bantam Dell, 2006, pp. 3572. - Fitzgerald, R. (1983). The Aeneid / Virgil ; translated by Robert Fitzgerald. (1st ed.). New York: Random House. -Lattimore, R. (1951). The Iliad; translated with an introd. by Richmond Lattimore. (Phoenix books ; 63). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. - Mossman, J. (2011). Medea / Euripides ; edited with an introduction, translation and commentary by Judith Mossman. (Classical texts). Oxford: Aris & Phillips. -Penthesilea. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Sept. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penthesilea#In_the_Epic_Cycle. -Dido. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 1 Oct. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dido. -Penelope. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Oct. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penelope. -Medea. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 9 Oct. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medea.

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