Greek and Roman Mytology: Edith Hamilton Essay

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According to ancient Greek and Roman mythology Pandora, the first woman, was created as a punishment for mankind, “From her, the first woman, comes the race of women, who are an evil to men, with a nature to do evil” (Hamilton 87). Edith Hamilton’s Mythology is a collection of Greek and Roman myths in which the ancient perception that women are inferior to men can be seen. Throughout the myths of Gods and heroes womankind is seen as a more flawed version of mankind. The Gods and Goddesses worshiped by the Greeks and Romans also reflect the ancient misogynistic views through their own actions. Mythology shows that women in ancient Greece and Rome were perceived to be subservient to men in that they were often objectified, portrayed as petty …show more content…
Hades kidnapped the Goddess Persephone because she “was the beautiful maiden of spring and summertime, whose light step upon the dry, brown hillside was enough to make it fresh and blooming” (62). As for Psyche, “the fame of her surpassing beauty spread over the earth and everywhere men journeyed to gaze upon her with wonder and adoration” (121). While neither woman’s intellect or personality is ever mentioned in the myths, men adored them for being beautiful, which was apparently enough to make a god kidnap a goddess and cause a mortal to become so important that “men thronged in ever-growing numbers to worship her loveliness…” (121). This undoubtedly shows that the only aspect of womankind that men valued in ancient times was their beauty. Another aspect of Greek mythology that shows how women were considered to be secondary to men is the stereotyping of all mythological women as petty and weak. Throughout the myths the goddesses, undoubtedly the most powerful women in mythology, acted cruelly out of spite and jealousy. Hera, the queen of the gods, jealously punished any of her husband Zeus’ lovers that she could find, despite the fact that they almost never had a say in their relationship with Zeus. She was also known to punish the innocent, as in the case of Echo, a nymph who “became another unhappy girl whom Hera punished [by cursing her to only be able to repeat what others said]… with her usual injustice” (112). Athena, the goddess of wisdom,

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