Gender And Vengeance In Greek Mythology: The Story Of Athena
Athena, daughter of Zeus, faced the discrimination of being a woman in a realm of male gods. Her vengeance was simple; in order to rectify her place of Zeus’ daughter, the goddess was faced with the task of asserting herself as the mother figure of Greek mythology. Athena’s fate was sealed by her birth; Zeus expected his wife, Metis, to birth him a son. Zeus feared that if Metis birthed a son, he would be overshadowed by his greater strength and power. To Zeus’ amazement, Metis birthed a daughter. Thus, Athena faced the subjugation of being a woman born into greatness. This naturally meant one thing for Athena; through her wisdom, see could find the intellectual vengeance upon her father’s insecurity of the feminine.
Through her affinity towards art and literature, Athena was able to assert her abilities, and thus dispel the fact that she was merely a woman. Her abilities in the arts and in battle surely paid off. For in seeking her vengeance to assert herself as the Goddess of Wisdom, she became so influential in the pantheon of gods that a city was named after her, the city of Athens. However, Athena was not simply handed this rite of passage. She had to face a contest with the god Poseidon in order to claim her dominion of Athena.
As telling as Athena’s patronage over the arts is to Greek mythology, her true vengeance was through the art of war. As a woman who was born not only a grown adult, but a true warrior, she asserted herself in the realm of mythology as a great warrior. Through the Judgement of Paris, Athena asserted herself by beating both Hera and Aphrodite for the prize of a golden apple. The apple represents not only Athena’s power as a warrior and ruler, but additionally her procurement of power through wisdom.
By asserting her power through wisdom, Athena sought her vengeance of the fate of womanhood by proving herself a warrior and leader, a role typically inherited by the men of Greek mythology. In conclusion, Athena was not only the Goddess of Wisdom, but the sole inheritor of Zeus’ power and influence. With these expectations, Athena did not seek vengeance through violence or force; her ability to rule ultimately boiled down to her wisdom. It was through her wisdom and strength that she was able to become not only a wise warrior, who won battles by utilizing her intelligence, but additionally a ruler who pushed the boundaries of womanhood, giving Greek mythology a new-found respect for women through her domination over the city of Athens.