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Male Dominance In Greek Mythology Essay

1281 words - 5 pages

As one begins to enter the Greek world of Mythology it cannot be helped but to notice the significant impact these works have had on this day and age. Seeing as how they have such profound impact on our everyday lives, it’s necessary to research and analyze this noteworthy topic. A constant recurring theme worth discussion as seen throughout Greek Mythology is that of men and their dominative status. Some examples of such men include: Hercules – renown for his 12 Great Labors, the cunning Odysseus in his return voyage home, and the ever-courageous Orestes. However, as one could wonder as he/she is reading throughout Greek Mythology, “What is it that gives men such predominance in Greek Mythology?” – now the aim of this paper. As can be observed throughout Greek Mythology, the dominant force of men is shown through their courage which is prevalent in their deeds, quests, and battles.
When one thinks about men and their deeds in Greek Mythology, the notorious character Orestes and his all-too-famous act of vengeance always comes to mind. However let us first turn to Agamemnon and the Greek fleet’s journey to Ilium – which is to set off, in a chain of events, Orestes’ action. As Agamemnon and the Greek fleet drew near to Ilium for their oncoming invasion it is said that “They met at Aulis, a place of strong winds” (E. Hamilton 182) where after several days of winds keeping them on shores, the army grew “desperate” (E. Hamilton 182). As found later by the soothsayer Calchas “Artemis was angry. One of her creatures… a hare had been slain” (E. Hamilton 182) the only way to appease her would’ve been to “[sacrifice]… a royal maiden, Iphigenia, the… daughter of… Agamemnon” (E. Hamilton 182). Reputation at stake, Agamemnon dared to yield to the goddess’s demand. This shocking deed in itself most likely required a lot of Agamemnon’s courage (daring to shed family blood) – in a horrid way, showing his dominance by asserting his authority over his household and reemphasizing over the Greek army his dominance. This, however, was only the tip of the iceberg as several years later his wife, Clytemnestra, decides to kill him for his earlier act of sacrificing their daughter. In fact, “She wanted to kill Agamemnon” (Raphael 25) – which she had done upon his return. Several years later, Orestes, son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, returned to his mother to avenge his father’s death. There was no desire though on Orestes’ part, as any child about to kill his/her mother can imagine, to kill his mother. It is said that “Orestes did not want to kill his mother but felt that he had to” (Raphael 25) – he had to avenge his father. It was also said by Pylades, a friend of Orestes, that “Apollo had commanded [it].” (Hamilton 246). It was through this unwillingness and the completion of the task that we can observe courage on Orestes’ part – this courage showing his dominance.
A common feature of Greek Mythology, that of heroes and their exploitations,...

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