Women in Myth

Women in Myth

Women in Myth

Women in Myth

Excerpt

In mythical or in empirical experience, the status of women throughout the ages, with few exceptions, has not been an enviable one. Questions abound as to why women have generally been consigned—and still are in certain parts of the world—to an inferior role. Their activities circumscribed and their education virtually nonexistent, for most of human history, why were they virtually doomed, until recent times, to a life of servitude?

Women in Myth seeks to explore the role played by women in ancient societies through analysis of specific myths from nine different lands. How did august figures such as Isis, Tiamat, Dido, Camilla, Deborah, Iphigenia, Salome, Sita, Amaterasu, Nü-Kwa, Hsi Wang Mu, and others—some of whom were goddesses—fare in the world of fabulation? What were they like? What were their abilities and their outlooks? Were women the only ones capable of procreating? Or creating humankind? Were their views gender-oriented? Androgynous? Had they always been relegated to the home? Deprived of the most basic human rights? Excluded from the highest functions of religious worship? Had they done battle and led armies? Had they founded states? Ruled lands? How did they use or not use their minds? Did they experience identity crises? The probing of such questions allows the reader to establish parallels as well as dichotomies between the lives of ancient and of contemporary women. The reliving of specific episodes reported in the great myths may bring insight into certain relationships and perhaps shed light on events and their ramifications in today's home and workplace.

The connections between certain mythical protagonists, whose actions and voices are depicted and heard within the narrative structure of the epic poem or the religious text investigated in Women in Myth, are to be made by . . .

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