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Homer: Women

1. Why Women Matter

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we think about why women matter in the Homeric poems, thinking in particular about: (i) the scene in Book 6 of the Iliad where Hector outlines (what he sees as) the appropriate behaviour for men (war) and for women (weaving); (ii) the reasons why women do in fact matter in Homer (e.g. driving the plot, providing a different (better?) experience of the world of men, direct interaction with men etc.); and (iii) the difficulty of recovering the experience of women from the archaeological and literary record.

Course

In this course, Dr Emily Hauser (University of Exeter) explores the status and role of women in the Iliad and the Odyssey. In the first module, we think about why women matter in Homer, and the difficulty of recovering the experience of ancient women from the literary and archaeological record. In the second module, we think about the lives and experience of women as they are presented in the Homeric epics – including the centrality of marriage and childbirth, their dependence on their male relatives, and the behaviours expected of them in public and in private. In the third module, we think about the role of Helen in the Iliad, before turning in the fourth module to the role of Helen in the Odyssey. Finally, in the fifth module, we turn the role of Odysseus’ wife, Penelope, in the Odyssey.

Note: Translations of Homer are taken from Richmond Lattimore's Iliad of Homer (1951) and Odyssey of Homer (1967), unless otherwise specified.

Lecturer

Dr Emily Hauser is a Lecturer in the Department of Classics at the University of Exeter. Her research centres on the intersection between gender and poetics in the ancient world, with a particular focus on authorship and gender in antiquity, women in Homeric epic and classical reception in contemporary women's writing. Her recent publications include (as co-editor) Reading Poetry, Writing Genre English Poetry and Literary Criticism in Dialogue with Classical Scholarship. (2018).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Hauser, E. (2019, December 02). Homer: Women - Why Women Matter [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/homer-women/why-women-matter

MLA style

Hauser, Emily. "Homer: Women – Why Women Matter." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 02 Dec 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/homer-women/why-women-matter

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