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« Female Power in Greek Myth - I | Main | Harry Potter: The Power of Stories »



A corollary question to your comments about women and power: Though one feminist reading of Medea might promote the idea of "fear and mystery" surrounding a powerful, witchy Medea as a misogynistic Greek fear of female power, why isn't Herakles' power considered just as mysterious? Who can explain un-mysteriously (i.e. rationally) Herakles' ability to strangle a lion with bare hands? It seems inconsistent to attach mystery to a woman for a feminist agenda if it could also be attached to Herakles. Or is there, perhaps, a REAL "fear and mystery" problem with powerful Greek women? Greek goddesses, as well? Should we even be asking questions about the Greek attachment of mystery to super-human power, or is it a modern idea to think that "super-human" connotes "mystery" and that mystery should be feared? Perhaps some of these questions are outside the realm of your blog.


Ash, It's a cliche, but I just have to say: you go (at 6:25 AM)!

Concerning mystery, a slippery term if there ever was one: if men maintain the story patterns in a society, they will have an overwhelming tendency to assign mystery and fear to that which they do not understand. And for men, women very much go into that category. I speak from decades of personal experience...

That said, the nature of a hero (in my definition) is that the person is outstanding in some way. That means that both men and women heroes will have strange, mysterious, uncanny, and hard to understand qualities. Also, that in the realm outside humanity, gender becomes fluid, so you see Amazons (women fighting like men), Heracles dressed as a woman, or Dionysus as a male with a soft, traditionally feminine appearance. Mysterious!

If women wrote Greek myths, we might see more mystery attached to men. But then again, maybe men are just cavemen who are easy to figure out. It would've been fun to read.

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