In Ms. Ramjan's 2nd period class students were asked to discuss in an essay the role of women in the poem "The Iliad."
By Mohammad Tayeeb
The world in which we live has been giving males power over women since the middle ages. However, in “The Iliad” by Homer, female characters play strong roles and influence people around them. In “The Iliad”, the goddesses and a character named Helen uphold the power of women.
The story of the "Iliad" is about the war between Greeks and Trojans. This war was caused by a woman named Helen. Paris, the prince of Troy stole Helen from Menalaus, the brother of Agamemnon who is the king of Greeks. Because of that, Menalaus was motivated to declare a war against Trojans. As a result, a lot of people died in vain because of this woman named Helen. Also, some gods got wounded by mortals and, Menalaus and Paris had a duel between each other. This woman named Helen was the cause of all these problems. The influence of Helen’s beauty led to all these miseries.
In the beginning of the war, the goddess Athena gave Diomedes the power to identify gods in the battlefield. During the war, some gods were coming down to help mortals and they were in disguise. It was impossible for a mortal to recognize a god in disguise. But only because of Athena, brave Diomedes distinguished the god Ares and injured him. It wasn’t only Ares. Diomedes also wounded goddess Aphrodite and her son Aeneas only because Athena gave him power. Another goddess Hera, spoke up against her husband Zeus’s decision. Even though Zeus is the leader of all gods in Mount Olympus, Hera didn’t fear him when she threatened Zeus that she will create disaster if Zeus helped theTrojans.
Furthermore, Aphrodite is another goddess who played a strong role in “The Iliad”. She saved Paris when Menalaus almost killed him in the duel. She snatched away Paris and returned him to his home safely. She was goddess with power and she used it even though Zeus forbade it. Her actions show her strength and bravery.
Likewise, in real life, women aren’t that weak. They are motivated and powerful enough to dominate males. All women become more motivated than any men when they become mother. A mother has to be influential and tolerant for the sake of her child. These skills motivate them and make them more powerful than males. Behind every person’s success, there is a mom who encouraged him or her to keep moving forward. My mom is a great example of a mother who is influential and motivated enough to guide her child. When it comes to all of my achievements, credit goes to my mother who kept encouraging me and pushing me to move towards the future. My ideals came from my mother. My mother is the person who taught me how to survive in this world. Without her, I am nothing but a void vessel without guidance. She plays a great role in my life.
In conclusion, although we do many things to deny women strong roles in society, some early stories such as “The Iliad” by Homer prove that women have the ability to play strong roles in the world. According to The Iliad, women are not that weak as we think they are. Some women are influential and dominate males. The story “The Iliad” shows this by the actions of Helen and the goddesses Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite. This ancient novel, The Iliad, shows that female characters can dominate a text, and that they do not always walk in the shadows of men.
MAH WINS NYT SCHOLARSHIP