Women In Greek Mythology Essay, Research Paper
The Role Of Women In Greek Mythology
Persephone and Demeter
One day, Persephone was in the field gathering the crops and Hades, the god of the underworld, was admiring her. He decided that he had to have her as his wife. Hades then shook the ground and caused it to split open and Persephone fell into the realm of the underworld. Persephone was then offered a pomegranate from Hades and she accepted. Little did she know that once she ate the pomegranate she had to stay in the realm of Hades as the wife of Hades. Demeter, Persephone s mother, pleaded with Zeus to get Persephone back. He explained to Demeter that once she ate the pomegranate she had to stay there. Demeter is the goddess of the weather and vegetation so her rage cause massive storms, frigid weather, and everything to stop growing, or die A few months later, Zeus made a bargain with Hades to let Persephone go for 9 months of the year and she would be back during the other 3 months. Hades agreed and Demeter was so happy, that the weather turned nice and everything grew back. This is how the seasons came to be.
Persephone is thought to be a beautiful women with long brown hair and is nearly always found wandering the fields. She truly is an enchantress, but is also a very gullible women because she was tricked into eating the pomegranate seeds. Persephone is also helpless because she can not do anything to break free. The storyteller wants us to feel bad for both Persephone and Demeter because they are both at a loss. Demeter for losing her daughter and Persephone for being captured. The female characters are portrayed less powerful than the male characters in this myth.
Atalanta s Race
There once was a fair maiden who was the daughter of the king named Atalanta. She was desired by many suitors. Atalanta vowed to stay a virgin and would never get married. However, her father pressed her to get married. She came up with a plan, since Atalanta was very athletic, she would have all the suitor race her, and whoever won the race would be her husband. Her father accepted the plan hoping that there would be someone fast enough to beat her. If the suitors in the race were lapped by Atalanta or they lost, then they would be killed. Even on such hard conditions many brave young suitors showed up to race her. Among the rest of the suitors was a man named Hippomenes who was favored by Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Aphrodite wished to help Hippomenes and gave him three golden apples. He used these apples to make Atalanta stop running to see what he had dropped, with this time he gained the chance to catch up to her. After dropping al the apples, Hippomenes had won the race, and the two were to be wed. Nevertheless, Hippomenes forgot to thank Aphrodite and so she told Rhea, the mother of the gods, and Rhea turned them both into lions.
The storyteller portrays Atalanta as a tomboy. She didn t like to do women related chores and had no skill in women s work. Atalanta was a very persistent person, she stuck to the idea that she never wanted to marry and still remain a virgin. Although, Atalanta was gullible because she kept on stopping to see what was dropped, when it was the same each time. She also kept forgetting that Hippomenes could win because she kept stopping. The storyteller describes Atalanta as fleet as a fawn and a beautiful woman. The storyteller doesn t want us to feel bad for Atalanta, and we want her to lose against Hippomenes. But at the end you feel bad for Atalanta because she was turned into a lion even when it wasn t her fault. The storyteller again implies that women are gullible and foolish, while the men are more cunning and smart in this myth.
Echo and Narcissus
The river god Cephissus had a son named Narcissus. He grew up to be the most beautiful of all his children. Narcissus was adored by all, especially, a maiden named Echo. Echo lot her power to speak by herself when she was constantly chattering. Now she could only echo words that were said. Echo saw Narcissus and followed him around.
Echo seems shy and hopeless because she can not converse and convey her feelings for Narcissus. Although she is not described physically, one might assume that she is of average beauty because she was rejected by Narcissus. The storyteller wants us to feel bad for Echo throughout the story because she can not do what she wants to do, which is For the most part, this myth suggests that men don t do such foolish things as women do that can cause them trouble.