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Women In Greek Herodotus, Euripides, And Aristophanes

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Over several years, women have overcome numerous hardships. Bearing the role of a woman it was expected for them to have been belittled and mistreated. Required to be obedient to their husbands and the rest of the men they come in contact with, women had only a few roles which mainly consisted of cooking cleaning and bearing children. During this era of time being a woman was a minority in itself let alone being inferior. Men were known to have a lack of respect for women, and would often treat them as if they were slaves. During the time of the Greeks Herodotus, Aeschylus, Euripides, and Aristophanes women were depicted as wise, powerful, revengeful and deceitful creatures. These four characteristics show the similarities and differences …show more content…
“It is difficult not to recall Aeschylus’ epithet for Helen of Troy, poluanór or ‘much-manned’, a memory that may well have stuck Herodotus’ audience too and reminds us that Helen was no less ambiguous a role model that her sister Klytemnestra, (Cartledge 93).” Aeschylus, an ancient Greek tragedian, formed this idea that women are weak and to prove his theory he used Helen of Troy as a pawn, moving her to commit adultery by running away with another man. A contradiction to Herodotus’ depiction of women being wise— Helen committing adultery was not wise and unlike the women of Spartan she did not stay within her social standards. The decisions she made were not wise, by running away from her husband, King Menelaus, Helen potentially set the images of women back at the beginning mark. Her running was the cause and starting point of the War of Troy, that lasted ten years. Knowing the consequences of this decision would not only put her life be in danger but the life of the man she loved, Paris, and his home all of troy. This one woman’s decision resulted in the death of many. The reason of this is because women were looked at as property and one of a woman’s expectations is to honor her vow of faithfulness regardless the matter. Though she was unwise about her endeavors she did overcome gender formalities to be with the man she really …show more content…
They wanted to show that they can do what men can and not be held to an inferior mindset. Aristophanes was a comic playwright of ancient Athens, Aristophanes’ women were known for the roles of heroines they played in comedies. “but she would not have been immortalized in the title of a play—as she was in Aristophanes’ punning Lysistrata. Perhaps he felt he could not use Lysimakhe’s real name for the make-believe heroine of an irreverent sex-war comedy, but, on the other hand, he did feel the need to write such a comedy about the identities of and relations between men and women, (Cartledge 89).” Women used their wits and alliance with other women to compel the men of Athens. Depicting powerful and effectual women, the most famous of Aristophanes comedies is the Lysistrata. This play portrayed women as having brave and aggressive roles to show that women can keep the traditional way of life in order while men are away on military campaign. The women wanted to show everyone that they are powerful by having masculine roles. This shows women overcoming gender roles because women were not supposed to be looked at or even thought of as powerful or courageous. Women were never held to the standards and responsibilities that men had because they were looked at as inferior. This is similar to women acting revengeful, during this time a woman reacting against or violently

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