Study Questions for Lefkowitz's Women in
1.) Lefkowitz observes that Greek “myths place emphasis , although in idealized or exaggerated forms, on the kinds of experiences and problems that most ancient women would encounter in the course of their lives” (pg. 42). What are the two main courses of female existence for Greek women and give a mythic example of each.
2.) In what ways does Hesiod’s Theogony illustrate these female roles? Give examples.
3.) Use the stories of Creusa and of Io to describe the perils and pleasures of female intercourse with a god? (pg. 44)
4.) What historical role does Hesiod’s “Catalogue of Women” attribute to women? (pg. 46) What kinds of women does this catalogue emphasize?
5.) What is the Greek attitude toward women who rebel against the role of mother? Give two examples from myth. (pg. 48)
6.) Give some examples of descriptions in Greek myth “of the human dilemma as seen from a woman’s point of view.” (pg. 49)
7.) How does Lefkowitz interpret the portrayal of women in Euripides’ Bacchae and in Sophocles’ Antigone? Does she think these plays are misogynistic? Why or why not? (pg. 50)
8.) Does Lefkowitz think that male Greek writers were able to describe accurately the problems of women’s life? Does she think that they were good at offering solutions to the dilemma of women? Why or why not? (pg. 51)
9.) How does Lefkowitz, thoughout this chapter, use ate (“folly of speech and fury in the mind”) to describe the human condition, especially of women, in Greek mythology? How does she apply ate to the condition of women in the modern world?