Paper: The Relationship between Homeric Greek Men and Women as Described in Hector and Andromache

After examining the encounter between Hector and Andromache, | gained a better understanding of the relations between men and women in Homeric Greece. On the surface, it seems as though there is nothing unusual about their marriage or the way they interact under the given circumstances. However, after scrutinizing the scene several more times, | was able to infer even more about their relationship. It is clear that Hector and Andromache care very much for each other. From Andromache's perspective, her response to the situation seems natural and justifiable. Even by today's standards, no wife wants to see her husband go off to war. For that reason, it shows that she loves Hector, and even expresses that she needs him, by begging him not to join the front lines in battle. She explains how he is "everything" to her, and that if he were to die, that she and their child would be left with nothing. If Andromache's actions epitomize the role of women in Homeric Greece, then it can be argued that women very much respected and cared for their husbands and loved ones, and felt pain when they lost them. Hector fulfills the male role in this scene by replacing major priorities such as family and love with honor and glory. As Andromache states, Hector is a man possessed by courage, which will only kill him in the end. While he obviously cares for his wife and son, and worries about what will happen to them once he dies, he is still the "protector" above all else. Ironically, fighting and dying with his fellow Trojans seems more important to him than actually staying back with his family to protect them. His courage and fate on the battlefield take precedence over his duty as husband and father at home. This was probably a major characteristic of most men in that society. The scene described in The Iliad is actually very common in present day society. We see this type of situation illuminated every day in real life and in the movies. The caring wife begs her husband to stay so that they can take care of each other. Yet, the husband must embark on some glorious pursuit before he can truly dedicate his love and attention to his family. If this provides a fair description of the gender roles in Homeric Greece, then it appears that these characteristics have not changed much since then. **Bibliography** ...