The Role Of Women In Greek Mythology

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The role of women in Greek mythology

In this practice, we analyze the myths of Pandora and Prometheus, based on a text by Hesiod, "Works and fragments" (Theogony, works and days) ";We will examine the similarities and differences of the Greek Pandora, with the Judeo -Christian Eva, and her influence on the submissive vision of women throughout history.

First, note that Hesiod is a Greek poet who was born in Ascra, today Palaioppania, current Greece, in the second half of the seventh century to.C. Very little is known about his life, the information we have about him is the one that the author himself shows in his work. Share time and context with Homero, although the two authors have very different styles. Hesiod, uses a more personal and didactic tone, with the aim of teaching, while Homer is more epic. However, both coincide with the subject of Justice of Zeus.

On the one hand, we have the text of works and days, it tells the myth of Prometheus and Pandora. Prometheus is a character within Greek mythology. Prometheus steals the fire to Zeus to give it to men and this as revenge creates Pandora, a beautiful woman to give her to Prometheus as a hoax or trap that the gods will tend to men. She carried a lethal gift that should be given to him.

The legend has a simile with the myth of Adam and Eva or the Egyptian myth of Anubis, Bata and her wives. Throughout history, both Pandora and Eva’s figures are considered as the origin of the evils and misfortunes of humanity and the human race. The myth teaches us the deity of Zeus and characterize them from the female gender, the secondary and submissive social role granted to women, thus justifying the superiority of man, since Pandora is created for men, even if it isTo bring evil. From this it can be deduced that the author, Hesiod, compares women with evil, with a deserved punishment, but with an attractive appearance.

Between Eva and Pandora, there is also a difference: Eva is begotten, from a part of man, according to the Old Testament, man was created in the image and likeness of God, and the woman was created from Adam’s rib in the likeness of man;While Pandora is a woman created with very good molds: Aphrodite beauty, knowing how to make Athena, volatile, seductive.

The myth narrated by Hesiod tells Pandora’s creation, as punishment for Prometheus, that Zeus orders Hefesto, once Prometheus, has humiliated him and stolen the fire. After being created, Pandora is presented before epimete as a gift by the gods, dressed as a bride and prepared for the nuptials. Epimete does not listen to his brother Prometheus’s advice, and accepts the "gift". Pandora arrives accompanied by a jar that contains all the evils of the world, and Pandora tempted by curiosity, opened the jar, and extended around the world, all evils on men, and when scared he closed it, theHope. However, there are other versions, which point out that what was inside were the assets of the world, and when opening it, they escaped, so men could never enjoy them, and the only comfort they had left was the hope of getting them. Regardless of the version in all the man is harmed because of the woman and her curiosity.

The second text we have is economical, chapter VII, of Jenofonte, Greek writer and historian. Economic is a dialogue of the Socratic type that addresses three fundamental issues: the situation of women in Athens, slavery and the art of agriculture. Our text tells the role of women, relationships between men and women, marriage, the known portrait of the "perfect married". The Iscomaco woman arrived at her house with only fifteen years, educated simply to be discreet;He immediately cares about making him participate in the work of the house (a distribution of tasks according to the skills supposedly granted by nature or divinity), comparing her duties with those of the queen bee. It also emphasizes the need for order.

The fundamental difference between the two texts is that Jenophon is more realistic, while Hesiod is mythological. Jenofonte, highlight the role of women below the man, but is valued as a wife and mother, give it their prestige quota, and recognize their relevance in household chores, in the economic maintenance of the family, and aboutAll in the raising of children.

Other myths that we know throughout history in which the woman again symbolizes the negativity, the psyche myth that lost her happiness for wanting to see Cupid’s face, or Atalanta who lost her virginity for observing the golden apples that HipómenesI was leaving him on the way to win the race, or Eva herself losing paradise for eating the apple of the tree.

As a conclusion, say that from the classic periods the roles and symbols of women are faced with those of men, domestic world against war and politics, passion against reason. This man/woman confrontation will remain throughout history. 

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