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Chapter 11

Classical Studies 2200 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Clytemnestra, Wild Beasts, Odysseus

Classical Studies
Course Code
CS 2200
Aara Suksi

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Chapter 11: Female Heroes
The Heroine: Women’s Mysteries in a Man’s World
- Heroines(female) are not the same as Heroes(male) in their qualities, goals, quests, and
oUsually renamed if given immortality
Women’s Rituals
- Artemis helps Heroines (Athena helps Heroes)
- Initiation ritual: Brauronia
oArtemis’ shrine in Brauron, Attica
oGirls run like bears (nude)
Girls become beast, men tame best
- Tribe of female warriors
otamed (seduced or slain) by male heroes
Bellerophon, Heracles, Theseus, Achilles
- Seen as monsters (like dragons) to be tamed or slain
Patterns of Heroines
- Heroines are seen in terms of their relationship to their fathers, sons, and husbands
- Women who refused to properly fulfill their roles are seen as whores, witches, or
- Women either end up widows (chained to their husband until death) or slain
oMen usually end up with a cult or some form of consolation, women do not
Mother and Wife
- Loyal, submissive, obedient, even in the face of death
- Mother to a hero means consort to a god
oSex with the god is the highest point of their life, downfall from there
E.g. Semele(dies after) or Danae (miserable after)
- Marriage to a hero usually proves to be deadly
- Alcestis: The Model Wife
oDaughter to Pelias (king of Iolcus)
oGives her hand to Admetus after he ties 2 wild beasts to a chariot
Apollo was sent to serve Admetus after disgracing Zeus, but Admetus
treated Apollo as an honoured guest
oAlcestis has 2 children
oAdmetus forgets to honour Artemis and is sent to the underworld
oApollo persuades Artemis to trick the Fates into allowing Admetus to return from
the underworld if a substitute is found
Alcestis offers herself in Admetus’ parents place
oEither Persephone releases Alcestis or Heracles recuses her
- Assist the hero in his quest
- Model: Athena
- usually succumbs to the temptation of loving the hero
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