Myths across culture : portrayal of women
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This paper falls into the criteria of feminist revisionist mythology which aims to interpret the way women are looked upon and represented in Eastern (Indian) and Western (Greek) tradition through the myths and epics. Using feminist perspectives from the works of Simone de Beauvoir and Kate Millett and anthropological and cultural framework of Structuralism from Claude Lévi-Strauss, I have analyzed the portrayal of the female characters in the epics The Mahabharata and Iliad which come from two very distinctive cultural and literary traditions. The first portion of the dissertation gives close readings of the epics in order to explore the lives and roles of women. The second portion studies epics and myths as bearer of strong cultural practice and influence. The findings are manifold and different than expected. Strong dynamism can be seen in the female characters other than objectification and subjugation.