Trojan Women Essay

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The Confined World of the Trojan Woman Throughout the nine-year siege of Troy, the Trojan society developed into a divided world, one whose division was based primarily upon the separation of the masculine and feminine spheres. In the Iliad, the Scaean gate transforms into a barrier between these two domains, separating the battlefield plains from the more domestically focused interior. In this sense, while the Greek society provides only a limited scope for both presenting and analyzing its female characters, Homer is able to fully employ the scenes inside of Troy to portray the women’s sense of confinement, both emotional and physical, within the city walls. While the male warriors can fully exercise their freedom on the battleground,…show more content…
When Hector first returns to the household, he expects Andromache to be fulfilling the standard wartime duties of a woman, whether it be overseeing the maintenance of the household or engaging in prayer: “Where’s Andromache gone? To my sisters’ house? To my brothers’ wives with their long flowing robes? Or Athena’s shrine where the noble Trojan women gather to win the great grim goddess over?” (p. 208, 6.448-451). Nevertheless, Andromache instead fails to fulfill these responsibilities due to her inability to control her emotions. Her grief ultimately overpowers her ability to act with grace and poise, as we can see through the various descriptions of her “weeping freely” (6.480), “sobbing, grieving” (6.444), and “smiling through her tears” (6.578). Instead of remaining in the household, she speeds to the city wall “in panic, like a madwoman”, watching as both her family’s and Troy’s future is jeopardized on the battlefields below. Through this impassioned, yet saddening depiction of Andromache, Homer is able to masterfully highlight the agonies of war that the women must ultimately endure, as well as the insecurity of their

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