Greek Mythology Essay

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According to Greek mythology, Pandora, the first woman to be created, introduced trouble in the lives of men. As she opened the box containing all the evils of the world, she allowed them all to escape and earned women the designation of troublesome. The curiosity and foolishness which drove Pandora to open the box were forever after viewed as typical attributes of women and supposedly justified their inferiority to men. Additionally, they came to be known as sneaky, conniving temptresses who would carelessly complicate the lives of men. While men were known for their strength, women were associated with trickery. Homer uses these themes in the Iliad and the Odyssey in order to distinguish between the two genders. While the Iliad focuses on brute strength, its companion, the Odyssey, is a poem of cunning. It is not without coincidence that this poem of cunning contains many female figures while the poem of brute strength consists mainly of men. Throughout the Odyssey, women are used as a symbol of temptation. The main concern of the poem is to discuss Odysseus� nostos which has been prolonged by Ajax� raping Cassandra in a temple. Cassandra obviously represents the temptation which Ajax submitted to. The rape of Cassandra angers the female deity Athena who subsequently prevents Odysseus and his crew from safely returning home. This theme of temptation in the form of women continues throughout the poem. After much agony at sea, Odysseus finds himself trapped on an island by the nymph Calypso. Since she is female, Calypso�s force comes in the form of seduction, not brute strength. The goddess� sex appeal kept Odysseus occupied and temporarily prevented him from continuing his journey home. When Hermes informs her that Odysseus must be released, Calypso tries to convince him to stay. In her conniving feminine way, she has a feast laid before him and tempts him with her

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