Roles of Women Figures in Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Either as mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, mistresses, lovers or supernatural creatures, women populate the world of the Odyssey and bring thus an important source of information when it comes to finding parallels between their representations in real life as drawn from the representations they get in the Homeric epic.

Based on the same starting point as the Odyssey, another ancient author, the Roman Virgil wrote the epic Aeneid. He lived in the most flourishing times of the Roman empire, in the first century BC, almost seven centuries after the Odyssey and the Iliad had probably been written. The heroes in Virgil's epic are still men, but the women gain a new role: that of sounders and rulers. Analyzing the whole range of epics and poems written by ancient Greek and Latin writers, A.M. Keith points out that "classical Greek and Latin epic poetry was composed by men, consumed largely by men, and centrally concerned with men" (Keith, 1). Both the Greek and the Roman societies in ancient and classical times were patriarchal societies that reserved women restricted roles in their relationships with their fellow men and in the larger context of the social life
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of the community. They were mostly confined to the quarters of their household and the companionship of their children and other women, therefore roles like that Dido plays in Virgil's Aeneid are highly unusual for human female characters. They are rather exceptions than setting a rule for future generations since women only gained equal rights in the twentieth century AD and they are still fighting for them in different parts of the world.

Church, Alfred J., and Homer. The Iliad of Homer. New York: Biblo and Tannen, 1951.

The Epic of Gilgamesh. Trans. Maureen Gallery Kovacs. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1989.

Graham, A.J. "1 The Odyssey, History, and Women." The Distaff Side: Representing the Female in Homer's Odyssey. Ed. Beth Cohen. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Buitron, Diana. Cohen, Oliver Beth. Between Skylla and Penelope: Female Characters of the Odyssey in Archaic and Classical Greek Art. Ed. Beth Cohen. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995

Homer. Odyssey. Trans. Stanley Lombardo. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2000.

Virgil. Aeneid. Trans. Stanley Lombardo. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2005.

Avery, Dorothy. Women in the Iliad. Copyright: D. Avery 2004. Retrieved: May 7, 2009. Available at: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/arts/tradition/tradavery1.html

Keith, A.M. Engendering Rome: Women in Latin…

Sources Used in Documents:

Virgil. Aeneid. Trans. Stanley Lombardo. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2005.

Avery, Dorothy. Women in the Iliad. Copyright: D. Avery 2004. Retrieved: May 7, 2009. Available at: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/arts/tradition/tradavery1.html

Keith, A.M. Engendering Rome: Women in Latin Epic. Cambridge University Press, 2000.

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