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Comparison between "The Iliad" and "The Women of Troy" Essay

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The Iliad by Homer and the Women of Troy by Euripides are both Greek works of literature that look at the Trojan War from different perspectives. Book 6 of the Iliad illustrates that the ultimate glory is to fight for the city with no regard to the impact on the family. The Women of Troy focuses on the negatives that war causes, especially towards the soldier’s wives and children. Whereas the Iliad focuses on the battle itself and centers on the warriors, the Women of Troy focuses on the wrath the war brings upon the families left behind. The central theme in both the works is the Trojan War and they both offer perspectives of the duty of a person, the role of predetermined fate, and the role of women.

Homer’s Iliad focuses on the war and its heroes, their emotions and their ultimate glory. In Book 6 of the Iliad, Hector comes home for the last time and shows tenderness as a father, “Then his beloved father laughed out and his honored mother, and at once glorious Hector lifted from his head the helmet… Then taking up his dear son he tossed him about his arms, and kissed him.” This quotation shows us the tender and fatherly nature of Hector while he is still fighting a war. Homer is emphasizing that although one can love his wife and his children, fighting for the city is always the highest duty for a soldier, which transcends all his other personal responsibilities. As Hector leaves, his wife cries; “so glorious Hector spoke and again took up the helmet with its crest of horse-hair, while his beloved wife went homeward turning to look back on the way letting the love tears fall.” Hector’s wife understands that the ultimate glory of a soldier lies in carrying fighting the war bravely and fearlessly, Even though she ...


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...ation of the women. The victorious Greek army in the Women of Troy does not seem to have any moral compunction in using the women as slaves or their concubines. In this process, they not only insult the citizens of the city of Troy but dehumanize the womanhood itself.

Both the Women of Troy and the Iliad are great works of Greek literature that emphasize different aspects of war. While both these works deal with the Trojan War, their perspectives and emphasis are very different. Whereas in the Iliad, the focus is the war and the glory of the warriors, the Woman of Troy highlights the aftermath of the war. While the Iliad projects the women in the highest reverence, the Women of Troy dehumanizes them. The Iliad is about bravery and higher virtues of mankind, the Women of Troy is about the lecherous nature of mankind who preys upon the helpless and the weak.


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