Women Vs. Pericles’ Ideal Of Athenian Womanhood

1406 words - 6 pages

Throughout history, men have traditionally been perceived as superior and prevailing over women. Although women have held many different roles in society, women had always been considered inferior both physically and intellectually. Pericles, a general of Athens, gives his opinion of women’s role in society in his famous funeral speech. He first shows that he views women to be the weaker sex by stating, “…to those of you who will now be in widowhood, it will be all comprised in this brief exhortation. Great will be your glory in not falling short of your natural character”. He believes that naturally women are weak and vulnerable and that they must never be nothing more than that. He continues to give his opinion on women by lastly saying “…greatest will be hers who is least talked of among the men, whether for good or for bad.” He clearly lets us know that women are not to be seen, heard or talked about no matter what they have done or who they are. Pericles tries to make us understand that a woman that is nonexistent is the one who deserves the most glory. Pericles’ ideal of Athenian womanhood brings us to understand that in his opinion women were weak, nonexistent and vulnerable people in a society greatly guided by men’s wisdom. Even though many women did act just as Pericles described them to be, others refused to let men oppress or control them. Hera, Jocasta and Antigone are perfect examples of women that contradicted Pericles’ ideals of Athenian womanhood.
In the Iliad one of Homers’ greatest works women are often depicted not only as inferior to men but as objects of possession. The story begins with a dispute over Chryseis a daughter of a follower of Apollo who has been taken captive by Agamemnon as a war trophy. Agamemnon even goes as far as to say he will only give her up if he is given another prize. This kind of mentality is highlighted as normal when Achilleus tells Agamemnon that he will be compensated when they capture more women from Troy to which Agamemnon rebuttals by threating to take Achilleus’ war trophy and setting into motion the rest of the tale in The Iliad. This quick introduction shows how women are portrayed as far less beings than men. That is until Hera is introduced. Hera who is a goddess under Zeus is shown defying Zeus by aiding the Greek after Achilleus makes a plea to the gods about aiding Troy. Hera is also shown to argue with Zeus by using her ancestry as a way of showing how respected she should be even after Zeus tells her that she has no saying in the matter. She at one point even gets Zeus to back off when discussing strategies on how not to destroy Troy. Hera uses the best of her alliances to aid the Greeks and sabotage Zeus’ plans. With the help of another goddess Athena and a hero by the name of Diomedes, they are able to injure Ares the god of war and force him and the rest of the gods out of the battlefield to even the fight for the Greeks.
In the Iliad, a goddess’ actions are in the forefront but...

Find Another Essay On Women vs. Pericles’ Ideal of Athenian Womanhood

Year 12 Ancient History Assessment Task. Pericles "How did the policies of Pericles contribute to the expanding power and influence of the Athenian Empire?

1076 words - 4 pages The policies of Pericles contributed to the expanding power and influence of the Athenian Empire because they unified Athens and made it the center point of Greece. They influenced other Greek Poleis through policies such as the introduction of the Athenian Coin and expanded their power over other Greek Poleis through increasing their Naval and Land Army. 'The aim of his statesmanship was to increase the Athenian Empire and to spread the

The Role of Athenian Women in Classical Greece (MLA Bibliography)

2130 words - 9 pages interesting lives in Athens, Aspasia and Neaera. Aspasia was one of the most influential women in Athens, as she was involved with one of the most important statesmen in all of Athens, Pericles (Freeman 254). Aspasia was said to have had a great deal of influence over Pericles and perhaps aided him in some of his decisions regarding the state of Athens. If there were any truth to those claims, it would be a great accomplishment for Athenian women to

The Ideal Female and the Oppression of Women

856 words - 3 pages The Ideal Female and the Oppression of Women By having an impossible ideal female look, society is beating us as women. We have no time to come up in world through politics, business, or any other power related structure because we’re spending all of our time trying to maintain, or achieve this beauty. The ideal woman is ever-changing. Different features and different characteristics are valued at different times and throughout different

Supression of Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860 by Barbara Welter

2491 words - 10 pages tending to her family. She did not want to be reformed to become the ideal woman enveloped in Jennie and Mary. Pulling down the wallpaper challenged the patriarchal ideologies of society showing that women can move beyond the constructions of true womanhood. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” illustrates and simultaneously challenges the ideals of true womanhood depicted by Barbara Welter in “the Cult of True Womanhood” with her ultimate outcome being the opportunity and possibility for the end of oppression of women.

Comparison of Athens and Sparta. Focuses on differences between the two city states i.e. Spartan militarism vs. Athenian arts, literature, culture

1545 words - 6 pages democratic type of government. All free men,regardless of their social class, were citizens and participated in governmental affairs. Like inSparta, The Assembly was still the center of Athenian government, however, it was open to allcitizens, and all its members were considered equal. The Assembly was responsible for passinglaws, serving as a supreme court, and choosing generals to run the army and navy. A Council offive-hundred men administered the

Statistics of Men vs. Women Being Convicted of Violent Crimes

786 words - 4 pages that has questioned people on how such crowding could happen in a women’s prison (Simon). Nowadays, females serve more time for drug offenses even though they are less likely to be involved in the drug trade (Van Wormer, Bartollas). The percent of women convicted and charged in state prisons were more likely than men to have been convicted of a drug crime was (59% vs. 40%) (Van Wormer, Bartollas). The amount of women committed by the state for

Men vs Women: The Battle of the Sexes

999 words - 4 pages Since ancient times women have been ranked lower than men. Historical events, physical characteristics, and work ethics put women below men. In modern day, injustices between the two sexes also exist. Between men and women in present day society, women tend to get less perks. Historical events place women below men in many ways. According to Feminism is for Everybody, “Christian culture [made] masses of people continue to believe that God has

Media Negatively Affects Women's Self-Esteem - The media's unrealistic thin ideal of the female body leads women to have low self-esteem issues

1929 words - 8 pages , and are owners of well-known companies. Despite the historical advances in the placement of women in society, women are the most targeted by the media. "Exposure to thin-ideal advertisements increased body dissatisfaction, negative mood, and levels of depression and lowered self-esteem" (Bessenoff, 2006). "There are now 50 times more women suffering from anorexia and bulimia than are living with AIDS" (Aarabi, 2006). "Advertisements can eat away

Women Rights in the Middle East Vs. Civil Rights of African American in the 1800's

1928 words - 8 pages gender you are. To many of us young people living in the United states slavery is just another thing that we learn about in school, most of us do not really care much about the subject because we are not surrounded by it in our daily lives, however this is not the case for women in the middle east. Women in the milled east are still living in a world that is controlled by men and most women in the middle east do not have rights, are mistreated, and

The lack of female in the IT industry today. This essays explores the reasons why the It industry is not seen as an ideal career for young women today, and the steps we should take to remedy his

636 words - 3 pages The lack of Females in Computer related CareersInformation Technology (IT) is a rapidly expanding and demanded industry in today's society. However, while women do well in IT, their involvement is lacking when compared to the dominant percentage of male employees. Unquestionably, IT professionals must encourage more women and girls to study computing and become the high-tech professionals for which there's so strong a demand.Women, who comprise

The role of women in detective fiction in the works of Agatha Christie's - A Body in the Library vs Dorothy Sayers - Strong Poison

2265 words - 9 pages Women Detectives as Related to Social status the role of women in Golden Age detective fiction was influenced by the historical and social events of the time period. During and after the World War I, women assumed an increasingly important role in society entering the predominantly male work place and securing voting rights. Women in literature were destined to be granted major roles in detective fiction novels. Agatha Christie finally broke the

Similar Essays

Pericles Speech Position Paper(Position :Pericles' Speech Was Not An Accurate Representation Of Athenian Society)

1058 words - 4 pages as though they do not exist. He implies that there is equality between men and women, which there is not, and he speaks about every man following every rule, which is an unrealistic reality. He bluntly ignores the presence of slavery, a dark mark for any civilization. Pericles describes the Athenian army as one of the best in the world. Athens did have a somewhat successful military, but the Spartan-like image Pericles creates is not accurate

The Lives Of Athenian Women Essay

2413 words - 10 pages Women in classical Athens could not have had an extremely enjoyable experience, if we rely on literary sources concerning the roles of women within the Greek polis. The so-called Athenian democracy only benefited a fraction of the entire population. At least half of this population was female, yet women seem to have had very little influence and few official civic rights. `The position of women...is a subject which has provoked much controversy

The Public Sphere Of Athenian Women

1970 words - 8 pages Women are often excluded from discussion when looking at all periods of history from ancient Greece to our own Canadian history. The lack of sources pertaining to women was likely caused by the traditional view that women are, in some ways, inferior to men. Athenian women are usually studied in two domains: the private sphere and the public sphere. Many studies acknowledge that women are consumed by the family and remain in the home. However

Ideal Women Vs Real Women In Beowulf And The Wife Of Bath

1875 words - 8 pages are somewhat the opposite of what the ideal woman is supposed to be. From Grendel’s mother avenging her son’s death; being a threat to mankind, and having power. However we can also compare that to the role of the Queen that is respected and admired by her people. Whereas Alisoun, she speaks freely about her five husbands and sexual experiences and having power over men; also the old women in The Wife of Bath’s Tale, who gets what all women