However, the manners in which women have been represented in the two books differ from the manner in which men have been presented, owing to the fact that men remain the heroes of war in the two books…
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On the other hand, the Iliad demonstrates the importance of women in the lives of the ancient Greece. Their roles are mainly depicted as mothers and wives.
The Iliad has dedicated women to the role of helping men in different aspects, while at the same time playing the ritualistic roles that would see such men remain well protected during their war adventures. Looking at Hecuba and Andromache of the Iliad, women’s roles are mainly depicted as mothers and wives. The maternal and protective instincts of their sons are seen as an obstacle that the male hero has to overcome to fulfill his heroic destiny. Hecuba plays the caring role of being a mother to Hector. Therefore fore, when Hector arrives back at Troy with the message that women need to offer a sacrifice of the beautiful robes to Athena, Hecuba pleaded with him to first take some wine and relax, and then offer a sacrifice. To this, Hector objected, claiming that if he was to relax and offer a sacrifice, then he would need to cleanse himself first (Homer, n.p.).
Further, after Hector has delivered this message, Hecuba and the rest of the women in Troy takes up their finest robes and goes to Athena’s temple, where they offered the sacrifice and prayed for the success of their warriors in the battle, and for their safe return (Homer, n.p.). Despite the fact that Hector did not succeed to return from the battle after he went back, his mother had played the caring role of a mother through playing for his success and his safe return. After Hecuba receives the news of the death of his son, Hector, she is deeply saddened, and makes his husband and the herald who were present during the delivery of the message to pour libations and pray (Homer, n.p.). This is yet a motherly role demonstrated of Hecuba, who feels that her son needs to be covered with rituals and prayers even in his death. Hecuba is also the first to throw herself at Hector’s body when it was finally returned back to
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However, in comparing the tragic heroes as written by Homer to the Aristotelian standards, the heroes written by Homer have a different characterization than that which is structured by Aristotle. In comparing Achilles to Hector, the best qualities of both work in balance to the best qualities of the other, thus perhaps the two figures equaling the full character of the tragic hero that is described by Aristotle.
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