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[2014 – 2015]
Student ID
Student email
Name of Tutor
Last name
First name
Student Contact Number
Tutor Group Name
Due Date
 I confirm that I have read, understood and followed the guidelines for the EPQ presentation
and submission.
 I understand that if this project is submitted after the due date, it will incur a penalty for
lateness unless I have negotiated an extension previously and I have written confirmation of
this extension. Please note the written confirmation must be attached to the submission.
Declaration of originality: The work contained in this project submission, other than that which has
been referenced in the correct manner, is that of the author. I understand that, should this
declaration be found to be false, disciplinary action could be taken and the penalty imposed in
accordance with the College’s policy and rules.
Signature of student_____________________________ Date____________________
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Proof of submission receipt – Please keep this in a safe place
Name of student
Student Number
Name of teacher
Date of Submission
Time of Submission
College stamp
pg. 2
Study Skills Analysis
Project Progression Record
7 - 18
Initial Plan and Diary
19 -33
Evaluation of Resources #1
Evaluation of Resources #2
Evaluation of Resources #3
Mindmap 1 (possible ideas focusing Ancient Greek culture)
Mindmap 2 (possible titles for project)
Record of Verification of Topic Title #1
40 – 41
Record of Verification of Topic Title #2
Record of Verification of Topic Title #3
Dissertation Plan
44 – 45
Annotated Dissertation Plan
Mid Project Review
47 -48
The Dissertation: “To What Extent Is Classical Greek Mythology
49 – 61
Audience Reaction (to presentation)
Audience Reaction Questionnaire & Feedback
Student Project Evaluation
66 - 67
pg. 3
I make up and stick to study
I study or conduct research when I’m
most alert.
I avoid activities which tend to
research/study schedule.
I start course/homework assignments
well in advance.
I would benefit from attending an
EPQ time management session.
I am comfortable using LRC research
I access the online research resources
via Moodle.
I use index and contents pages of
books, journals or other written
sources of information.
Project Supervisor comments
Agreed Actions
Project Supervisor comments
Agreed Actions
I timetable definite times and outline
specific goals for my research/study
pg. 4
I use the Internet to find my sources
of information.
I would benefit from attending an Yes
EPQ research skills session.
I skim read each chapter before I
begin ‘deep’ reading.
I summarise reading material in my
own words.
I am comfortable with my reading
When reading I distinguish between
important and non-important points.
I would benefit from attending an
EPQ reading skills session.
I am able to express my thoughts well
in writing.
I produce academic language in my
written pieces of work.
Project Supervisor comments
Agreed Actions
Project Supervisor comments
Agreed Actions
I focus on the main point when
pg. 5
I review my writing for grammatical,
spelling and grammatical errors.
I produce structured a research
I keep a bibliography of my research
I would benefit from attending an
EPQ academic writing skills session.
pg. 6
Centre Name
Westminster Kingsway College
Learner name
Centre Number
Learner Number
The topic chosen must allow the learner
To be fairly assessed at the standard applicable to the Project level (level 1, 2 or 3).
The opportunity to meet comparable demands to those made on other learners working at the same level
To meet all of the Learning Outcomes and Assessment Objectives of the Project.
The date you started your project
This was when I got a working idea of what my project
would be about as well as what it would focus on. I revisited
my idea three times and made it more specific to come to
my final idea.
pg. 7
First thoughts about topic and
working title
The first title that I came up with was "What does the
representation of women in Greek mythology say about
Ancient Greek society?". At the time, this title was
appropriate as I planned to look at Greek mythology and
literature and compare them against Ancient Greek society
and it gave me a starting point for my project which I was
able to make more specific as I went further along with my
project. I had to make it more specific as it would have been
too wide to explore thoroughly and in detail with a range of
viewpoints, opinions and comments in only 5000 words. The
topic really appealed to me as I have a fascination with past
societies and also with mythologies in addition to having
applied for an Ancient history course at university
pg. 8
If completing the Diploma,
 is topic relevant to Principal
If yes,
 Does the project complement
and develop the themes and
topics for learners’ principal
learning set out in the
relevant line of learning
 Does it support
What is the title of the project?
This could be phrased as a
The final title I have settled on is "To what extent is Classical
Greek mythology misogynistic?" - I settled on this title as it
incorporates elements of my initial and broad idea (the
special aspect of how men viewed women in ancient Greece
and their place and role in society) as well as allowed me
further room to explore misogyny as a contemporary theme
and idea.
pg. 9
What do you hope to achieve by
the time you complete the
By the end of the project, I hope to have completed a piece
of writing, that thoroughly explores ideas and suggestions of
misogyny and anti-female attitudes from an ancient society
that has had a major influence on modern day politics,
democracy and ideas in society.
I have aimed to be left with a project that I have been able
to learn from whilst writing, in addition to recognising links
and themes and maybe even coming a bit closer to
understanding the anti-female attitudes present.
I would also like the chance to work on my presentational
skills, especially where I would be talking confidently about
and sharing something that I am both passionate about and
have an interest in.
I also believe that this piece of writing would be a great
piece of material to refer back to when at university and also
if I decide to continue with this and possibly make it wider
and more inclusive to some of the things I had or cut out for
time and convenience.
Hope by completing this project I will also gain an insight
into the subject of ancient history and provide me with some
knowledge that I will be able to take to and utilise in
pg. 10
What form will the assessment
evidence for the project take?
(ie design, performance, report
[dissertation – level 3 only] )
Have you produced an outline
plan to show your project
I have decided (from the beginning) that the most suitable
form for my project and the topic is a dissertation. I have
chosen to do this as it will allow me to work on improving
my essay writing as well as allowing md to extend my critical
discussion, level of analysis, develop the level of my
evaluation and would best enable me to contrast different/
a range of viewpoints (and challenging me to create a critical
discussion), whilst giving me the chance to experience the
process of what planning and writing a. Dissertation at
university will probably be like.
The plan and diary I have been filling out throughout the
course of my project had helped me in keeping focused
when I make a record of tasks that I have or would like to
complete and I also assign it a date that I aim to get it
completed by. Also, it has helped a lot during the times I
have taken a break from my project as once I have recorded
what needs to be done, I can get back to where I left off.
pg. 11
What will you need to achieve
equipment, techniques and
I will need to have access to a number of Microsoft office
programmes (or word processing software) to be able to
type up and save my planning documents and to type up
and edit my dissertation. I will also need access to my phone
a lot due to the fact that it has the Evernote app which will
allow me to be able to do work on the journeys to and from
college without having to take out papers and the larger
folder I have dedicated to my project. I am also able to save
documents on it in addition to another app called Instapaper
so I am able to have virtual access to sources and highlight
important or contextual points.
The citing and referencing app called RefMe was also very
helpful as all I had to do was take a picture of the ISBN, or
copy and paste the HTML for a website and it would enter
most of the information for me, and automatically put it in
the Harvard referencing style whist simultaneously creating
an alphabetical bibliography with the sources. This saved me
time as I didn't have to do it all manually and worry about
getting it wrong, and this gave me more time to focus on my
research and writing.
Will you or have you used a
range of sources for your
The resources I have used range from the Internet, books,
interviews, online articles and journals. Although I did not
have any primary resources that I had collected myself, by
incorporating my own ideas and interpretations I feel I was
able to add something unique and original.
pg. 12
Is the information selected
suitable and sufficient to fit the
When reading through the resources I had collected I was
able to filter out those that had no direct relevance to my
project, wasn't that clear or well written and contained
things that other resources included in more detail.
All the information I have used is clear and has a point of
view, perspective or argument that it brings to my
Have you identified any links with
other areas of study or areas of
interest which relate to your
What skills need to be applied to
use the information you have
Most of the information I have directly links to my title and
project focus but whilst researching I noticed links between
psychology and mythology and the theories it offered as an
In order to efficiently use the information I had collected I
had to use skills such as skim reading (to quickly get an idea
of what the main points were and the general conclusion the
resource came to). I had to also use skills such as critical
thinking and simplifying information.
pg. 13
Did you apply the tools,
equipment, techniques and
information that has been
collected to complete your
Yes, I have utilised Microsoft Office programmes, like Word
and PowerPoint, constantly throughout my project for
different purposes including:
 Word for writing up my dissertation and planning
 PowerPoint for preparing and delivering the
I have also used the internet as well as both my college and
local library for researching, and also RefMe for my
referencing and bibliography.
What outcomes/objectives have
you achieved so far (mid-term
I have managed to develop a very interesting project
I have managed to identify what methods of working
are best for me.
I have successfully developed researching skills and
improved my ability to compare sources and
evaluate provenance.
pg. 14
Evaluation of own learning and
performance so far (mid-term
What have you changed after
reviewing your work?
Final phase - Do you feel that you
have achieved all of the
outcomes/objectives of your
I believe that I have worked hard enough to be where I am
at the moment and what I am pleased with the research I
have collected so far. The independent project has allowed
me to improve and develop new skills. However, I know
there is room for improvement, especially in regards to my
timekeeping. I believe that I need to make sure that I stay in
full control of the project by remaining on schedule, so that I
don’t leave it all to the last minute where it’ll be harder to
finish because of upcoming exams.
After reviewing my work, I have changed things such as the
title, how specific my project focus is, as well as what
documents and resources I have ended up using. The biggest
changes I have made were to my dissertation when slightly
redrafting, as well as the presentation and what things
would be most appropriate to focus on talking about.
Although I feel that I have achieved most of my objectives,
like improving my research, evaluation and presentational
skills, other skills/ objectives like improving my time keeping
hasn’t gone as well as I would have liked, but I have noticed
developments in the time I take complete tasks.
pg. 15
Presentation of Portfolio
(compulsory, even if the
outcome is a performance
or artefact)
other evidence can be
DVD, photographs, slides,
technologies etc
My Portfolio is a Word Processed Document which contains
everything from my initial plan to my research and my final
outcomes. The final product of my project is a dissertation
also included in this document. I decided to write a
dissertation because it was the most appropriate thing form
that I could present my findings in, but also and I also
believe that I am good at and would like to improve essay
pg. 16
presented your project to an
I created and practiced my presentation a couple of days
before I was supposed to present on a friend to make sure
that I have enough time to be prepared and to change
anything if necessary. Before giving the practice
presentation, I Googled presentation tips which I could
implement. Some of the key things I learnt were that I
shouldn’t overwhelm the slides with too much information,
also that I shouldn’t read word for word and that the slides
should visually stimulating to interest the audience and
serve as prompts to me. After I had gone through the
presentation, I felt more confident about my presentation
and how I would present it, especially as I had made flash
cards to aid me during the presentation. Presenting my EPQ
to my tutor and fellow EPQ students were also there doing
theirs was good. I was one of the last to present so I had
enough time to pick up on some of the skills that other
people applied and learn from some of the things they could
have improved on like engaging with the audience and
marinating eye contact etc. to make sure that my
presentation surpassed theirs. When standing up in front of
others, at first I was a bit nervous and used the flash cards
but the father on I went into the presentation, I got more
confident speaking and no longer needed the flashcards.
pg. 17
Have you evaluated your project,
taking into account any feedback
from your audience?
Date of project submission to 29/04/15
Yes, I have evaluated my presentation using both audience
feedback as well as what I personally thought. I also
evaluated the project as a whole. Evaluations were helpful
to me as it allowed me to reflect on what I did well and what
I could improve on the next time around and be sure to
implement in other pieces of work.
Though the original submission date was the 24th April, I was
given extra time to submit my project due to issues with my
coursework in film studies that I had to prioritise at the last
This form should be used to record the progress of each learner and may also assist in forming a basis and justification for the mark awarded under each assessment
criterion (for example, by indicating the level of support needed by the learner).
At Level 3 it is not intended that the Mentor gives any written feedback to the learner in the comments section. Verbal feedback may be given by the Mentor; this
should not be recorded on this form. Learners may use the comments section for taking notes.
A copy of this form must accompany each learner’s work when it is submitted for Moderation.
pg. 18
Make a list of
areas within
Ancient Greek
Culture that most
interest me.
Create a mind map
of possible titles
for my EPQ
Proposed & actual
completion date
July 2014
Actual completion
date: July 2014
July 2014
Actual completion
date: July 2014
Proposed actions
Although I have already decided that I
would like to focus on some aspect of
Ancient Greece, I need to create a mind
map of possible ideas within it, which I
could base my extended project on.
The task was quite straightforward;
simple task of noting down ideas which I
came across that would be suitable for
this project. What also made this task
simple was that I already had some
ideas in my head before September and
did some research over the summer.
Choose from the list of areas and
attempt to phrase questions differently
and in a way that would best
accommodate the objective of my
I ended up choosing to focus on women
in the different areas of mythology,
religion, society, and the titles were
modifications to them.
I chose to do something revolving
around Ancient Greek society, as in
addition to being interested in the
culture and tradition, I planned to
apply to do an Ancient history course
at university and I wanted this
project to allow me to learn some
more about the topic before I started
the course.
I chose to focus on women as Greek
society was patriarchal and as a
result of this women were often in
the background, and excluded from
the same social spheres as men. Only
in mythology are they featured
playing an active and arguable
important role alongside men; but
despite this, men are also at the
forefront of mythology, legends and
tales shown by the abundance of
male heroes.
Below the surface women are
actually complex and their characters
explore identity as a convoluted
social phenomenon. Many who have
examined Greek mythology, looked
the male heroes and explored the
messages within the stories, and I
feel that women in mythology are
almost a part of some uncharted
pg. 19
Get some books
from the library.
August 2014
Actual completion
date: Wednesday
3rd September
Meet Mike, EPQ
Wednesday 24th
September 2014
Actual completion
date: Wednesday
24th September
Try to utilise what resources are
available for free and most accessible
before I look for alternatives like
purchasing books and other materials,
to avoid spending money.
Meet with my supervisor Mike for the
first time. I plan to show him what
planning I have done over the summer
and ideas for my project.
I was able to get some general books on
Greek mythology, as well as one book
‘Understanding Greek Mythology’ that
allowed me to explore a number of
I was unable to get any books specific to
women in Greek mythology so far.
Met with Mike in a small group session. I
feel it went well as he asked us what our
initial ideas were for our project, and
when I told him mine; he seemed really
taken with the idea. Unfortunately, I
wasn’t able to show him what I had
done over the summer as I had left my
EPQ jottings at home that day.
Mike advised we complete the record of
verification of topic title sheet and
made arrangements for our future
meetings (Wednesdays from 12-1pm).
Although it was in a group, I thought we
all had the opportunity to speak about
our projects and to also get ideas from
one another.
Going to make a list of books using
the internet/ Amazon that may be
helpful with my research and see if
my local library is able to order them.
pg. 20
Complete first
draft Verification
of Topic Title
Friday 10 October
Create a spider
diagram outlining
the project.
Wednesday 22nd
October 2014
Actual completion
date: Saturday 11th
October 2014
Actual completion
date: Saturday 18th
October 2014
Further research
about how female
monsters are
presented in
Sunday 2nd
November 2014
Actual completion
date: Monday 3rd
November 2014
Complete the Record of Topic
Verification sheet and send it to Mike,
so he has an updated version of my
project, what I aim to investigate and
also what ideas I’ve had since the first
I plan to put my ideas, key information
and points in a basic mind map. By doing
this I hope to record which will give me a
clearer idea of where my project is
It was very useful as I was able to get a
clearer sense of what my project would
entail by asking myself a number of
questions that I aim to answer in my
Mike’s maintained his initial view that
my project was “going to be awesome”,
that I have chosen an excellent topic
and also posed some excellent
The end result was good as I felt it was
helpful and productive due to gaining a
much better idea of what I was going to
include in my project. It also lessened
the amount of things I had had wanted
to include and streamlined ideas. The
mind map allowed me to focus on one
central idea. The non-linear style was
useful for figuring out aspects of ideas I
had and also allowed me to generate
levels of its detail before organising
them into a linear essay plan.
Research females in the monster Found it quite simple when researching
category (cat. 3), Medusa, Charybdis + about Medusa; The internet provided a
Scylla and the Sirens.
large amount of character and
representation analysis of her as well as
modern takes on her character. I was
unable to find much on Charybdis and
Scylla and the sirens except from some
general things.
I found sorting through my ideas
quite challenging as it meant
choosing not to focus on some of the
things I liked but turned out to not be
as relevant; although I later found
alternative ways of incorporating
General documents say presentation
of women was based on how men
thought of and saw women in
Ancient Greece. Myths can resonate
with aspects of life and women seen
as objects of lust throughout
mythology. As I didn’t find much
about the others, save Medusa, I am
considering whether it is worth still
using them dominantly.
pg. 21
Organise 2 to 1
meeting with Mike
Saturday 15
November 2014
Actual completion
date: Saturday 15th
November 2014
Modify Record of
Verification of
Topic Title Meeting
Tuesday 18
November 2014
Actual completion
date: Tuesday 18th
November 2014
Group the women/
Wednesday 12
November 2014
Actual completion
date: Friday 21st
November 2014
Get date of 2 to 1 meeting, as well as Although the meeting was arranged, it
contact details of other candidate/ Study never actually happened due to it being
postponed and both my study pal and I
didn’t really make much of an effort to
attend a meeting after that.
After about two sessions, I revisited my
plans for the project and I thought that I
could make my research more specific
to women in mythology, rather than in
literature and [Athenian] tragedy too,
especially as mythology is the area that
really fascinates me.
Read through materials and sources of
information I have so far and group my
list of females in mythology according to
their overall perception being either
‘negative’ or ‘positive’ (and maybe
Going through the sheet again was
straightforward as I could simply adapt
the questions I asked on my previous
ones. I also had time to think of some
new ones. I also modified the title to
make it more specific.
Next steps include showing it to Mike
directly or emailing him a copy.
Took a bit longer than I initially
anticipated as there was quite a lot to
read through. Whilst grouping them I
began both noticing and looking for
points where they link and could
possibly offer as an evaluation. [Mike
helped me by lending me a book about
Greek mythology].
Mike said better to have someone
else studying for the same
qualification who can give friendly
feedback on work and share ideas
and motivate you, and it would have
probably been beneficial if we tried
again, in the sense that I would have
been able to continue doing work.
I chose to make it more specific to
focus on just mythology as my initial
thoughts were quite broad and
narrowing it down would allow me to
attempt doing a comparative essay.
Also, there were problems with
objective literature on
females in Ancient Greek culture, as
when I skimmed through them and
noticed women either played a
minimal role or were all presented
the same in the texts- most of which
were written by men, and this would
only give me male ideals of women.
I also had the idea to maybe group
them thematically too: Goddesses/
(Queens/Princesses), and monsters. I
decided to group them like this as the
categories have also been noticed by
others who have commented on
women in Greek myths.
pg. 22
Research theories
that can be applied
to mythology.
Monday 20th
October 2014
Actual completion
date: Sunday 23rd
November 2014
Use the internet to research theories
that can be applied to mythology, and
think of a way to implement them in my
Using ‘Wikiversity’,I was able to learn a
lot about mythical theories including
Euhemerism/ Historicism, Etiology/
Nature allegory, Freudian psychology,
Jungian psychology, Character myth,
Ritualist School and Structuralism. Out
of these I feel I will be able to better
directly to the myths containing
females, whereas the others are more
suitable for introducing the topic of
Although I am aware that it is
information on Wikipedia is accurate
due to the fact that the site accepts
content submitted by anyone (after
going through their verification
process) and is a bad source for
research projects, but as it acted as
my staring point, and as it is a tertiary
level source, it provided good
background knowledge. As well as
offering a general idea on my topic, I
was also able to refer to the
references section and use those
secondary sources as citations.
I chose to focus a bit more on
learning something about Freudian
psychology when applied to myths as
I noticed a link when researching
Medusa and the sirens. I thought this
would be most appropriate to include
especially as the other theories were
great to read but didn’t have as much
of a strong link to the females in
mythology I have chosen to focus on.
pg. 23
Continue research
into Medusa
(category 3)
Monday 23rd
November 2014
Actual completion
date: Monday 23rd
November 2014
Meet with
Monday 24th
November 2014
Actual completion
date: Monday 24th
November 2014
Start research into
the Goddess, Eris
(category 1)
Wednesday 24th
December 2014
Actual completion
date: Wednesday
24th November
Print off research
Saturday 20th
December 2014
Actual completion
date: Saturday 20th
Aim to get at least 5 different pieces of
material related to Medusa. I have
already done some general research on
Medusa when I briefly did some
research on the whole of the 3rd
category of monsters.
Meet with Mike to show him the
planning documents I’ve completed so
far, and also the updates I’ve made to
the Record of Project verification sheet.
Going good so far. Have over 5 pieces
evaluating her role, appearance,
presentation and representation in
mythology. This research has already
given me a clearer image of what I will
be arguing in my writing and is
developing my opinion.
Going to research systematically, so
Monster (cat.3), then Goddess/
Divinity (cat.1) then Mortal (cat.2).
That way I get something from all the
categories, able to make comparisons
throughout as well as in case I don’t
have enough time I am still able to
compare the 3 different “types” of
women represented in mythology.
I was told my progress was excellent, it
was good that I was making my project
more specific, as it would give my
project a clearer and more directional
focus. Answered the questions I had at
the time, and gave us the dates when
we were going to give our
Research Eris, the goddess of chaos and There wasn’t as much on her as Medusa,
due to her being a sort of minor
Goddess- only really featured in the
story, The Judgement of Paris. Despite
this, she does fit into my project as she
is represented mostly negatively, and
only the negative side of her is shown.
This led to me deciding to reduce the
number of women I was going to
feature down to 10 as a number of
them were also minor goddesses our
mentioned very little in mythology. I
feel I will do a better job choosing to
focus on a select few and briefly
mention the others to support my
Print of all research I have saved on the This was quite straightforward as the Quite off-putting and tiring having to
documents were already saved to my constantly look at a computer screen.
Evernote and Instapaper accounts.
pg. 24
December 2014
Go on college EPQ
website and look
at recent example
of good project.
Make a list of
women in Greek
Wednesday 17
December 2014
Actual completion
date: Sunday 21st
December 2014
Friday 10th October
Actual completion
date: 23rd
December 2014
Look at recent example of another Notes I took included:
candidate’s work from last year who had
 Broke planning/research into
obtained a good grade. Make brief notes
on things they did in their project.
 Was very detailed in the steps
they were going to take in their
plan and diary.
 Self-evaluated throughout.
I will use the internet to get a list of all
the women that are featured in Greek
mythology and also hopefully a brief
telling of the mythology they are
featured in, or what they are most
known for in Greek/ Classical mythology.
When I used the Google search engine
to find more women/ females in Greek
mythology outside of those who I am
already familiar with (Medusa; Athena;
Aphrodite etc.) I came across a lot of
names I could use, but I desired to make
a strong case for women being
presented negatively and bid it against a
strong case of them not. This led to me
deciding that I would focus on a select
few and find an alternative way to
incorporate the others.
Heard from a friend beforehand that
the example was over 100 pages,
which kind of shook my confidence a
bit, but when I actually looked at it
for myself, I saw that they just had a
lot of in-depth planning sheets, that
was broken up into steps. This was
helpful as I was able to see the level
of detail that was required to get a
top grade and also how to properly
evaluate and analyse the project.
I found there are a number of essays
online which focus on the more
popular women including Hera,
Athena, Aphrodite - who I am
choosing to focus on along with a
couple of others, as I think I could do
a good job of analysing and
evaluating these various sources of
information which would give me the
opportunity to develop and extend
my critical discussion (one of my skills
I need to work on). To analyse and
evaluate the women, I looked at
them against a number of sources.
pg. 25
Make list of books
that could be
useful to research.
Saturday 27th
December 2014
Actual completion
date: Saturday 27th
December 2014
Create a table for
Friday 27th
December 2014
Actual completion
date: Friday 27th
December 2014
Create a task list of
things that need to
be done
Monday 29th
December 2014
Actual completion
date: Monday 29th
December 2014
Going to make a list of books using the
internet/ Amazon that may be helpful
with my research and see if my local
library is able to order them.
Downloaded a booklist that I was able to
input the list of books I may like to take
a look at, simultaneously to briefly
looking at them on Amazon, and what
other customers said about them.
History teacher mentioned something
similar for coursework. Thought it would
be helpful to implement in EPQ research
stages. I’ll start a sources table where I
will note down where I got my resources
and how I used them.
Also came cross a referencing site that
makes citing and doing a bibliography
less complicated. I also created a
sources table on Word and will form
now on note down all the resources
that I use on there, as feel it will save
time when I come to evaluating the
Make a sort of step-by-step task list that
I can follow, which should help when I
get stuck. Research as a whole was
quite daunting, especially with the
number of sources and materials I
found, and at times it was hard knowing
where to jump back in.
Making the list helped to break down
the research I needed to do into
sections which enabled me to research
further into the categories I grouped the
women into and focus on a specific
Found a really useful website that
featured an annotated catalogue that
was solely for mythology, and some
the women in Classical Mythology. I
chose to still use it even though it
was targeted towards undergraduate
students- may contain some really
useful analyses and arguments.
The referencing site ( was
very helpful as it automatically
created an alphabetical bibliography
of all the sources websites, books etc.
that I used as also entered them in
the Harvard referencing style that I
initially struggled with.
The sources table, whilst useful; I
didn’t end up using it as it would
remove some of the context to the
sources and I felt more comfortable
highlighting and referring back to the
Really helped, especially when I was
stuck after I completed most of my
planning documents. Also helped in
knowing what I needed to do (even if
I had difficulty sticking to schedule)
and the steps I needed to take to get
there. Also, so when I go back to
college, I can continue with where I
left off.
pg. 26
Attend research
Thursday 15
January 2015
Actual completion
date: Thursday 15th
January 2015
Meet with Mike,
(before Mid
Project review)
Monday 5th or
Wednesday 7th
January 2015
Actual completion
date: Thursday 26th
January 2015
Attend the workshop being
specifically for EPQ research.
held I found this very useful as I was able to
make a list of the things I could do to
enhance my project. This included:
 To establish and define the key
words in my title.
 Make a list of research articles
from Google Scholar.
 Make a checklist of what needs to
be completed for the midterm
Talk to him about concerns with my
project that I came across during the
holidays. My main concerns included:
 Structuring my project
 The style of writing which would
better compliment project.
 Beginning the dissertation
He gave me some good advice like not
trying to start with the introduction, but
to start writing sections as I would be
able to fit it together later and see what
flows better, which would enable me to
start writing- even if it isn’t at the
beginning. Also, during the discussion
with him, I mentioned that I wanted to
look at both sides of the argument so I
was encouraged to replicate a discussion
in my writing.
Attending this was good as it gave me
ample time to prepare for my midterm review by completing:
 Initial plan and diary
 Record of verification sheet
 Schedule
 Evaluation of 1 resource
 Evidence of research.
Also, I was able to see the
importance of identifying the key
words in my title and the focus of my
project as it made the research I
conducted more constructive and
provided me with a lot more usable
Replicating a discussion worked well
as it gave me the opportunity to give
my own point of view and comment
on some of the viewpoints people
have given for myths both being and
not being misogynistic.
pg. 27
Attend Mid Project
Wednesday 4
February 2015
Actual completion
date: Monday 16th
February 2015
Do/ continue
research on the
chosen females
25th December
Actual completion
date: 16th March
Start a draft of the
05th January 2015
Actual completion
date: 17th March
Attend mid-term review with the I wasn’t able to see Mike for the
scheduled date as I was on a trip to
 Initial plan and diary
Brussels with my history class, so I
 Record of verification sheet
contacted him and arranged to
 Schedule
reschedule to the 16th. I was able to ask
 Evaluation of 1 resource
him all the questions I had and he gave
 Evidence of research.
me clear answers which were very
helpful, such as possible structures that I
may decide follow.
I have done some research on Medusa
and the Amazons, so I am going to focus
on researching the rest of the females in
the third category of monsters, which
include Scylla, Charybdis and the Sirens
(who appear in Homer’s “The Odyssey”)
The research for Scylla was okay but I
found two different Scylla’s in Greek
mythology (or maybe they are the
same?) which was quite confusing for
me. One was a great example but didn’t
fit in the category as she was mortal. I
wasn’t able to find much on the other
Scylla, Charybdis and the Sirens that was
worth putting in as a main feature.
Start and finish a first thorough draft of It was really difficult to put together at
the first and once I reached half of my word
introduction, main body and conclusion. count I panicked as I thought that I
wouldn’t have enough space to explore
all the points and interpretations I
wanted to.
Although one of the Scylla’s won’t be
featured dominantly, I feel that I will
still be able to briefly refer to her in
the themes section of my essay as
she is a pretty good example of how
love can be a weakness in myth. I
chose to just feature Medusa
exclusively after this as due to the
lack of information on them, and
although the sirens also link back to
Freudian psychology, I think I am
better off briefly referring to them
Once I continued writing, I was able
to see that I overreacted and I
probably would have enough space.
The Amazons took up a lot of space
but I realised that I would have to
focus on them a bit more as I would
have to dispel some of the myths
commonly held about them.
pg. 28
Start research into
Helen of Troy
(category 2)
Start, redraft and
Presentation +
create a feedback
Actual completion
date: Monday 23rd
March 2015
Monday 23th March
Actual completion
date: Tuesday 24th
March 2015
I was able to find a number of
Helen of Troy is one of the females that I interesting views regarding Helen of
am including mainly, so I am going to do Troy that showed her in a different light
some research specific to her.
to what was thought initially. I
discovered that in some tellings of the
myths she is the victim who was
kidnapped by Paris, whereas in others
she runs off with him willingly, leaving
her kids behind. I didn’t even know she
had kids until then, and the research I
did also shed some light on what took
place after the Trojan War.
I would like to start the presentation
around now so it will be ready for my Being able to practice my presentation
presentation date. I plan to also start on a friend was good as was I was able
practicing my presentation, in front of to get opinions about what changes I
people if possible. I also need to create a may need to make. Starting it early
my ensured I had an ample amount of time
presentation that people can fill out at to make these corrections as well as
the end of my official presentation. By prepare myself for the presentation by
getting the audience to fill these out, it making flashcards.
will simplify the process of identifying
what presentational skills I could
improve on.
There were some original and avantgarde ideas and interoperations
which I wish to explore further in my
dissertation. I think they will make an
thought-provoking debate.
I Googled presentation tips which I
could implement. Some of the key
things I learnt were that I shouldn’t
overwhelm the slides with too much
information, also that I shouldn’t
read word for word and that the
slides should visually stimulating to
interest the audience and serve as
prompts to me.
pg. 29
Give presentation.
Thursday 26
March 2015
Actual completion
date: Thursday 26th
March 2015
Write up an
Audience Reaction
Actual completion
date: 30th March
I was one of the last to present so I had
Give the presentation to other students enough time to pick up on some of the
doing the EPQ.
skills that other people applied and learn
from some of the things they could have
improved on like engaging with the
audience and maintaining eye contact
etc. At first, I was a bit nervous so was
more reliant on the flashcards but as I
grew more confident presenting, I didn’t
use them.
Write up an Audience Reaction Sheet Most of the feedback I got was great
based on the feedback I got from my and they liked the information about
women on the slide as it supported my
point of view, but one thing I noticed
that people commented on was both
the lack of visuals as well as wanting
there to be more contextual information
on the women I have chosen to focus
This was a good experience for me to
develop my presentational skills as
well as pick up some other skills that
my peers used whilst doing their own
presentations. I know that in the
future I will be expected to give both
group & independent presentations,
and I believe this experience will help
me directly in university as I will be
able to look back and draw from the
improvements I identified.
From the feedback that I collected,
the audience commented that they
were able to see I had a genuine level
of interest in the way I
communicated my project to them,
especially once I had overcome my
pre-presenting nerves. A big thing
that I will take from this experience is
to make my presentation slides more
visually stimulating as well as
providing a bit more contextual
information about the focus of my
project, as these will benefit both the
audience as the images will reinforce
my words, as well as me in the sense
that they could substitute using flash
cards by becoming visual prompts.
pg. 30
Create a detailed
plan of my EPQ.
January 2015
Actual completion
date: 31st March
05th April 2014
Actual completion
date: 8th April 2015
Decided that I would create and finalise
a detailed plan of my project. I believe
that the reason for me being unable to
start writing and move past the
researching stage was because I didn’t
have a plan where I was able to visualise
and annotate what I was looking at and
the structure/ stages I would go
This helped a lot as I found a structure
that worked best for me. I was able to
see where certain points of the essay
linked together, what points would best
fit where, and what flowed better after
the previous section.
The steps also helped me quickly look
for places that could be reduced or
simply removed, and where best to
implement my primary and secondary
research points.
Need to create evaluate my resources so This was straightforward once I had
that I can show how useful/valid/reliable identified what sources I was actually
etc. they are.
going to use (as some of the same
information was in a number of other
Once the outline and detailed plan
was out of the way, I was able to
start the actual writing. This was a
good thing as I didn’t have much
more time to procrastinate, and
could begin immediately.
I eliminated similar sources according
to how much information they
contained. If they had something
similar to another source then I
looked at what other information it
had or what else it said, and if I
thought it was significant or
beneficial to my project, then I kept it
in. If not, then I didn’t bother using it
as a source.
pg. 31
Limit down to a
total of 7 (actually
6) females.
Wednesday 8th
April 2015
Actual completion
date: Wednesday
8th April 2015
Put all work into
one document
Tuesday 21st April
Actual completion
date: Tuesday 21st
April 2015
I will cut out some of the females so I am
not using them all as main sections/
focuses in my project. This reduction
means that I am ultimately looking at
fewer females, but carries implications
of not being able to explore the themes
as comprehensively as I had initially
planned to.
As a result of this reduction in females, I
was able to reduce my focus and get
more done. I also decided to look at
Aphrodite and Hera together as they
provide a nice comparison to each
other- representing the two side of love,
which I feel would be interesting to
explore. Although the quality of my
word didn’t decrease, it wasn’t as
expansive as I wanted due to having to
cut out one of the really complex
characters I had collected a lot of
information on, who, like the Amazons,
provided a brilliant contrast to the
traditional Greek patriarchal attitudes.
This really helped me as I thought I
was running out of words and I also
didn’t have enough time to explore
Medea in as much detail as I wanted
due to her also being a very complex
character in Greek mythology. I
believe my time was limited mainly
due to the fact that I hadn’t worked
out all the kinks in my project.
Although I had done ample research,
I was unable to see how they linked
to each other (despite the focus) in a
way that would facilitate a
Put all the separate documents, like the
evaluation of resources, EPQ schedule,
Project Progression Record etc. all into
one document.
This was helpful for keeping track of my
project as a whole as well as easier to
locate the updated versions of the
documents. Will also be easier to send
as an attachment for submission.
Compiling all the work and planning
documents signified that I was
coming close to the end of the
project and whilst I continued to
work I should also start looking to
make corrections and check for
spelling and grammar mistakes.
pg. 32
See philosophy
Actual completion
date: Monday 20th
April 2015
Ask him how I would go about improving
my critical analysis and discussion. Once
I am able to know how to do this, I
should be able to take the steps to
implement it.
From a discussion about my work in
class, he advised that I provide the
arguments/ reasons for a person
adopting or having their point of view.
Also, that I should do more than just
juxtapose different points of view, but
look to be more analytical when looking
at them.
I chose to see my philosophy teacher
(instead of solely relying on online
materials for guidance) as he has
taught me for almost 2 years and he
is in a better position to give me
advice and tell me what specifically
to work on due to already being
familiar with my writing style and
ability. I felt that the talk was very
helpful as I am able to apply what I
was told not just in my EPQ writing,
but also in other subjects too.
Read up on how to
write a
Monday 5th January
Make notes so that I am prepared, and Most of the information I read about
able to start putting the pieces of my dissertations was not as helpful as I
project together, and begin writing.
would have liked as they referred me to
university websites which mostly
focused on things in the stages before
writing the dissertation such as finding a
suitable idea, making a suitable
proposal to get approved and having
arguments and points of view from all
I was looking for something that
would suggest a vague structure that
I would be able to adapt to fit my
idea as opposed to how to approach
a dissertation from scratch. However,
once I created my own very detailed
plan, I was able to begin writing.
Actual completion
date: 22nd April
Re-draft the
22nd April 2015
Actual completion
Go through the dissertation and make Being able to do this meant I was able to
necessary corrections, additions and make revisions as well as any additions I
felt were necessary. It was also a great
chance to fix the spelling and grammar
mistakes made in the first draft that I
had overlooked. I also noticed a mistake
in the style of referencing I had used but
I decided to stick with it.
I had initially underestimated how
long it would take me to start writing,
which did have a slight impact on the
quality of my writing although I was
able to go back and improve it at this
stage. I chose to stick with the MHRA
style referencing instead of changing
it to the Harvard style as MHRA is
used in the Humanities, so there’s a
chance that I may be using this
pg. 33
referencing style at university.
pg. 34
Resource Used
The Greek Myths: The Complete and Definitive Edition (book)
By Robert Graves
08th April 2015
Brief description of the Resource
This book compiled all the famous myths and those which featured some females including the labours
of Hercules, the voyage of the Argonauts, Theseus and the Minotaur, the Trojan War and Odysseus’
journey home.
What was I trying to find out?
The role of women in these myths.
How the women I have chosen to focus on can be interpreted.
Graves’ evaluation for the women in Greek myth.
How Graves shows how religious developments are related to matriarchal and patriarch social
organization and religious beliefs as well as how he explores the roots of the sense of our gender and
How do I know this resource was appropriate?
Robert Graves was both a novelist and a classicist (amongst a number of other things) and he has
written many books with a focus on the classical world.
Also, some of his books are valued in the field of academia and his use of material from classical
sources has been contentious to scholars for many years. He references and comments on a wide range
of scholarly sources, though he does not always reference the source for each myth, the footnotes
included are really helpful and he includes his own interpretations.
This resource summarises the myth, looks at them against their alternate versions and, in a sense,
evaluated them which was appropriate as it included the myths I have chosen to focus on in my
Also, it is comprehensive and is very easy to use, so ideal for the first time reader as well as the scholar
and expert as it can be read as a single, continuous narrative, accompanied by full commentaries, crossreferences, interpretations, variants and explanations, as well as a comprehensive index of names.
What are the key things I have learned from this resource?
I was able to learn more about the myths that I plan to focus on in my dissertation, as well as some
contextual information about the 6 women, in addition to both their classical and modern
Is this resource linked to any other resources I have used? If yes, how?
Graves’ book can be looked at against another book, Understand Greek Mythology: Teach Yourself by
Steve Eddy and Claire Hamilton, which similarly compiles the Greek myths and offers modern and new
pg. 35
Resource Used
The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World
By Adrienne Mayor
21st March 2015
Brief description of the Resource
A book focusing on the legendary Amazons, female warriors of the Ancient and Classical world. It
explores who they are their existence and presents them in a way they haven’t been seen before. This
is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across the ancient world
Mayor tells how amazing new archaeological discoveries of battle-scarred female skeletons buried with
their weapons prove that women warriors were not merely figments of the Greek imagination. She
reveals intimate, surprising details and original insights about the lives and legends of the women
known as Amazons and provocatively argues that a timeless search for a balance between the sexes
explains the allure of the Amazons, Mayor reminds us that there were as many Amazon love stories as
there were war stories. The Greeks were not the only people enchanted by Amazon.
What was I trying to find out?
More information about the Amazons, including their portrayal and representation in both classical
Greek Myths and ancient Greek society.
If there was any truth to some of the popular misconceptions (e.g. only having one breast)
Reasons for these misconceptions
More about their general lifestyle, culture, traditions and societal norms.
How do I know this resource was appropriate?
Mayor is a full time scholar and researcher at Stanford and she studies folklore, myth and science of the
ancient world. As she has worked on this book for decades, it implies that she has done a lot of
research into a field she is already quite knowledgeable and familiar in.
Mayor is highly readable and her work is accessible to the non-academics even though she writes in a
scholarly way. She carefully balances history against myth which gives a modern and avant-garde
account of the female warriors.
Also, part of the book describes and comments on the myths and he historical material.
What are the key things I have learned from this resource?
The Amazons did not practice and embrace mastectomies as a part of their tradition (this was made up
by a fifth century historian), but instead wore tight leather structures, like bras, to reduce breast
movement when riding.
They weren’t as barbaric as they were accused of being. They enjoyed equality with men and also had
great sexual freedom.
The Amazons fascinated the culture (Greece) that shunned them and kept their women in a state of
subordination, which is where most of the misconceptions about the Amazons we have today originate
Is this resource linked to any other resources I have used? If yes, how?
This resource is directly linked to two other resources, an article and a journal which feature samples of
interviews with Mayor. This linked together very nicely as when she explains a process or some piece of
pg. 36
information featured in her book I was able to refer back directly to her work.
Resource Used
The Goddess Athena: Feminist or Misogynist (Article)
By Ellen Brundige
Saturday 21st March 2015
Brief description of the Resource
This was a web article that looked at the representation and presentation of Athena in Greek
mythology, and citing this, and her relationships with others, weighed up whether Athena as a feministas portrayed as a string woman in a powerful position or if she was a misogynist- adopting anti-female
attitude and siding in favour of and supporting the matriarchal rule of Greek society.
What was I trying to find out?
Initially, I was trying to find out more about how Athena was portrayed, and what she represented in
Greek myths.
How do I know this resource was appropriate?
This resource links directly to the title of my investigation and it is unique in the sense that this is the
only source to do so. Also, this resource isn’t just purely someone else’s opinion but includes others like
academics, such as Christine Downing (who is a scholar of religion, mythology, depth psychology and
feminist studies), as well as using evidence from literature to support and further this discussion.
What are the key things I have learned from this resource?
One of the key things that I have learned and will cite in my dissertation is that the (lack of) female
relationships Athena has throughout mythology can be seen from both a feminist and misogynist point
of view and these provide different interpretations, implications and their own significance to the
Is this resource linked to any other resources I have used? If yes, how?
This resource links to another resource I have used which is about Medusa’s representation and her
portrayal but similarly notes the complexities of her character.
pg. 37
Stage of the EPQ Project process
Number of
Start date
End date
Summer 2014
Summer 2014
STAGE ONE: Planning
Choose a topic and conduct pilot research
Summer 2014
Identify a manageable project – Title and initial ideas
1 week
Compile a detailed plan of the final project
1- 2 weeks
Produce the first draft of the project and Project
5 weeks
Do any additional editing and research
3 weeks
1 week
1 day
1 week
3 weeks
3 days
1 day
STAGE TWO: Research
Conduct research into chosen topic and complete EPQ
11 weeks
Initial Plan and Diary
STAGE THREE: Mid-project Review
STAGE FOUR: Second draft and Presentation
Check for errors and prepare second draft
Present the project submission to a chosen audience
Write up audience reaction information
STAGE FIVE: Final draft
Final proof-read (by a friend or yourself) and final editing
Complete bibliography (this should be an on-going
1.5 weeks
process through the research stages
Get the final project bound
Submit your EPQ project
pg. 38
pg. 39
pg. 40
Your first idea for topic/title
What does the representation of women in Greek mythology say about Ancient Greek
Your first ideas for researching and developing your project
How realistic is/are the women’s representations/ portrayals?
What do the women in mythology represent?
What are some of the common vies held regarding the women and feminism in Ancient
Greek society?
What are some of the negative/positive representations of women? (What are their drives
and motivations?)
What are some of the common traits/ features these women have? (What can be implied
from this? / What can/may this mean?)
What was the typical role of the female in Ancient Greek Society? (How does mythology
juxtapose this?)
Did these mythological tales have an impact on the Ancient Greek society? (If so, how?)
Has ancient Greece had an impact of modern/later/succeeding mythological tales and
legends? (Are there any examples of this?)
How does the representation of women in Greek mythology compare to modern women?
How are women treated in Greek mythology?
What myths and female mythological figures will/are being focused on?
How important is the role of women in Greek Mythology?
Are there any theories that can be applied to these myths?
How many, if any, mythological tales about/ including females oppose patriarchy?
What are the morals of these myths?
Which of these myths supports feminism more strongly?
Are there any alternative versions/tellings of these myths? (If so, why?)
Are there any theories, concepts or explanations for these myths?
Skills which I need to work on
Integrating my own ideas
Citing and bibliographies
Your Project Supervisors feedback and advice
A very strong bank of questions which will give excellent direction to your project. These questions
will allow for robust descriptions to be given, which will allow for some in depth analyses, theory
applications and evaluations to be produced.
The main message I get from reading your questions is that there will be a major focus on matching
myth with feminism and how that explains or influenced the role of women in Ancient Greek
pg. 41
I would like you to elaborate on the details of the skills you will need to develop. It is very useful
that you have identified four skills in particular as there will be an opportunity in your final
evaluation to determine how much these skills have become a part of your repertoire.
This project deals with a very interesting and extremely emotive topic. It would be useful to see how
you develop your arguments in the piece by, for example, considering the different points of view of
historians or scholars in this area.
I think this is going to be excellent, please prove me right!!
Project supervisor signature
11th October 2014
pg. 42
Your second idea for topic/title
To what extent are all women* in Greek mythology presented negatively?
*women used to represent female sexed creatures as well
Your second ideas for researching and developing your project
How realistic are their representations in accordance to Greek society?
What do women in mythology represent?
What are some of the common views generally held about women and feminism in Ancient
Greek society?
 What are some of the positive representations of women?
 What are some of the negative representations of women?
 What are some of the common traits/features these women share?
 What are their drives and motivations?
 How are women treated and regarded in mythology?
 What myths and female figures will be the main focus?
 How important is the role of women in mythology?
 How many (if any) myths about or including women contain the opposition of patriarchy?
 Which myths support feminism more strongly?
 Which theories (if any) best explain the representations of women in classical mythology?
(include thought bubble/ spider diagram of ideas)
Skills which I need to work on
Integrating and developing my own ideas: [When I write, I usually stick to points that have
been discussed in class or suggested etc. In this project am hoping for the chance to explore
my own ideas and attempt to develop and implement them]
Citing and bibliographies: [have no experience doing this but I think it would be beneficial
to learn this skill in preparation for the work I will be doing at university]
Setting and working to a proposed timetable and schedule (time management): [bad time
keeping skills but good organisation; though I tend to do most things at the last minute.
Looking to improve my commitment in sticking to a set schedule]
Evaluating things more: [I do quite decent evaluation but there is room for improvement]
Look to develop and extend critical discussion: [This was a target once of my teachers set
me after a homework essay. I am looking to improve this skill particularly to aid me in class
as well as to use in exams]
Your Project Supervisors feedback and advice
Useful skills for study, work and personal endeavours!
It is good to see that you have refined your questions. It shows that you have conducted some pilot
research and have considered your end product.
Project supervisor signature
18th November 2014
pg. 43
Your third idea for topic/title
To what extent is Classical Greek mythology misogynistic?
Your third ideas for researching and developing your project
Do you think Greek mythology is misogynistic?
What do women in mythology represent?
What are some of the common views generally held about women and feminism in Ancient
Greek society?
What are some of the positive representations of women?
What are some of the negative representations of women?
What are some of the common traits/features these women share?
What are their drives and motivations?
What examples of misogyny are there in Greek mythology?
How are women treated and regarded in mythology?
What myths and female figures will be the main focus?
How important is the role of women in mythology?
How many (if any) myths about or including women contain the opposition of patriarchy?
What are some of the arguments again Greek myths being misogynistic?
If Greek myths are misogynistic, what are the reasons, if any?
Skills which I need to work on
Integrating and developing my own ideas: [When I write, I usually stick to points that have
been discussed in class or suggested etc. In this project am hoping for the chance to explore
my own ideas and attempt to develop and implement them]
Citing and bibliographies: [have no experience doing this but I think it would be beneficial
to learn this skill in preparation for the work I will be doing at university]
Setting and working to a proposed timetable and schedule (time management): [bad time
keeping skills but good organisation; though I tend to do most things at the last minute.
Looking to improve my commitment in sticking to a set schedule]
Evaluating things more: [I do quite decent evaluation but there is room for improvement]
Look to develop and extend critical discussion: [This was a target once of my teachers set
me after a homework essay. I am looking to improve this skill particularly to aid me in class
as well as to use in exams]
Your Project Supervisors feedback and advice
Really nice to see how your work is becoming more streamlined. Hopefully this has been reflected in
in your plan and diary.
Project supervisor signature
26th March 2015
pg. 44
 Intro to essay
 Women (mention some of the ones in intro that you don’t have time to fully go in depth with, such as Empusa, Lamia etc- see women
category sheet) (X10)
o Women in myth are presented with male ideals (both positive and negative)
o Appearance
 In text/ literature
 In images/ visuals
o Myth(s) appears in
 Analysis of myth (x3)
 The Judgement of Paris
 Battle of Troy (features Amazons and Mortals)
 Another myth
 2 themes (Themes section)
o Power (define)
 French and Raven’s 5 bases of power
 ¾ examples of different types of power (which best captures each woman/
 Legitimate power: (Clytemnestra)
 Referent power: (Clytemnestra -> Helen of Troy)
 Coercive power (generally the largest- many focus women fit into here): (The Amazons;
Hera; Athena; Aphrodite; Charybdis + Scylla; Sirens)
 Reward power (also quite a few): (Clytemnestra; Hera; Aphrodite; Athena;
Medea (expert power))
o R.P^: Goddesses’ reward power leads to coercive power
o R.P^: fit here because they take revenge for those who fail
to worship or honour them (e.g. Aphrodite with Atalanta
and her husband)
o Weakness (define) (manifested in many ways such as…)
 Jealousy (e.g. Aphrodite; Hera)
 Guile (cunning) (e.g.
 Revenge (e.g.
 Love (e.g.
 Appearance (e.g. Medusa)
 Alternate point of view (GMNM)
o Arguments against Greek myths being misogynistic.
 1) Women need to be protected
 2) Women who possess unrestrained power and control are dangerous. (e.g.
Medea; Clytemnestra etc)
 3) Women brought/ bring negativity (Pandora)
 Arguments against alternate point of view
o 1) Don’t need men to protect women// 2) Need to protect themselves look out for
their best interests.
pg. 45
Penelope (whilst Odysseus was away- she used her cunning to prolong
 The Amazons (able to survive in an all-woman state. Their demise comes
once they come into contact with men (e.g. Argonauts) and start to change
their ideals).
 Goddesses- Aphrodite & Hera (able to manipulate a number of menAphrodite made her husband try to have sex with Athena)
o 3) Technically it’s Zeus’ fault…
 With Pandora, Zeus ordered Hephaestus to fashion her out of clay in order
to ensnare Prometheus’ brother in retaliation for stealing fire and giving it to
humans. Zeus was also the one that gave Pandora the storage jug that
contained all the plagues of mankind, knowing she would open it as he had
some of the other Olympians give her qualities such as curiosity and cunning
 Conclusion:
o Greek mythology is on the whole misogynistic. Although it shows women in and with
power, they always come to their end at the hands of a man or/and almost all of
these women are depicted to have at least two of the previously mentioned
negative qualities, which under scrutiny, DO show them to be negative animas.
pg. 46
pg. 47
Successes, failures, additions and modifications made to my project:
My project has demanded a lot from me as it required a lot more time than I had initially thought.
Even though reading through the material I had collected proved to be slightly arduous, I have
enjoyed the pressure and responsibility, mainly because I have chosen a topic I have a real interest
I am sure I have chosen a brilliant idea for my project that I’ll stick with, as I haven’t deviated
from it only reviewed it and made the title and focus of the project more specific. I did this as I felt
that certain aspects of my project were really wide and would cover a lot of ground which, after
thinking about it, I thought I was better off doing a more limited investigation/ exploration that was
thorough and was able to focus on something- and also the more specific my project is, the easier it
made researching, and the less material I have to go through (in theory). I have really engaged with
it over the past few weeks, and I am curious to know the answer to the question I have proposed.
I have attempted to follow the plans and schedule I've made with regards to my project, but it's
been difficult as I had no foresight of other commitments that would interfere such as my film and
history courseworks being very time consuming in addition to an unexpected history and politics trip
to Brussels with the college. But as I’ve got back into my project I’ve found that, whilst hard to carry
out in accordance to a time scale, having ideas, making detailed plans, and simplifying my notes and
sources and having an outline of my thought process makes it much easier to pick up where I left off
with my project and is less daunting than having to pick up a 500 page hardback book and leaf
through it. Simplifying my notes has actually proved both useful and practical as I am able to carry
these notes with me (whether it be on paper or on the Evernote note taking app on my smartphone)
and have access to them at my convenience- meaning I am able to continue thinking about the
direction my project is taking on the go.
Since the start of my project I have had a number of successes and failures but I consider these of
equal importance and value. Some successes have been easier than others, but they were all
signposts that I was on the right track, that a particular technique worked for me, or that I was doing
something right and I should continue with it. Some of my successes included:
 Identifying a project from the beginning that I’d be committed to, have a genuine interest in
and would enjoy researching about.
 Being able to reduce the content and make it more specific from the initial idea (that wanted
to focus on mythology, literature, religion, Athenian tragedy; how these compared to the
role that women were said to have in that society and the role they currently have in ours).
 Thoroughness in project so far, in making lists, mind maps, initial plan and diary which cater
for the future and provide prompts about what I should be doing)
 My tendency to over plan. This resulted in collecting more sources and materials than I need
for one section of my project, but this is good as I was able to give myself a selection to look
through and multiple opportunities to be assured by what I read but this is equally bad as it
means I give myself more reading to do which I’d have to find time for.
 Researching and gathering materials. This is often quite simple as I was able to do this
almost anywhere via my smartphone and various other apps such as Scribd, Wikipedia, and
Google to find other materials.
pg. 48
My failures have shown me that a particular way of doing things doesn’t work so effectively and that
I would be more successful doing it another way, and it has also driven me to overcome obstacles I
faced, to learn from my mistakes and draw from my experiences. (As Winston Churchill said,
“Success is based on going from failure to failure without losing eagerness”). Some of my failures
 Time management- Sticking to the schedule I set myself. I started doing things in order of
current importance, so coursework has been getting prioritised and I have only managed to
stick to the first 4 dates in my schedule.
 Motivation- finding it hard to be able to get back into work from where I left off, and trouble
working on project since Christmas holidays.
 Undermined time I’d take out for socialising, sleeping and my ‘down-time’. The schedule I
set myself was, although optimistic, unrealistic as it didn’t cater to my working habits and
other possible distractions and all obstacles.
 Not commenting/ showing my thought process in comment sections of initial plan and diary.
Continuing to steadily work on my project has given me an idea of what to expect from similar
independent projects at university and has also introduced me to what sort of research and
preparation goes into writing a dissertation. I have gained the following skills so far:
 The layout of Harvard referencing for books. There’s an app on the Google Play Store called
RefMe that allows you to scan the barcode of the book and it does the referencing, citing
and bibliography for you, and changes the format depending on the type of source being
 Researching skills and comparing sources and provenance.
Outline of planned steps to complete my project:
 Finish researching and gathering materials by week beginning Monday 16th March 2015
 Complete 2 of the 3 compulsory evaluation forms.
 Write up first draft of dissertation week beginning Monday 16th March 2015
 Work on presentation simultaneously to write up.
 Weekly/ fortnightly feedback sessions with Mike in the weeks coming up to the deadline.
 Redraft dissertation at least 2 times (AIM)
 Make sure I am prepared for the presentation (prepare some notes to go along with the
slides/ or flash cards)
 Get a copy of the mark scheme
 Deliver the presentation to an audience
 Write up evaluation of presentation and presentation report
 Put work together- Get Mike to look at it a final time. Make any necessary changes.
 Bind together and submit with at least 2 days until the deadline.
Changes, clarifications or additions made as a result of your discussion with project supervisor:
 Structuring of essay
 Limiting/ reducing the number of women featured in my project (as main points)
pg. 49
pg. 50
pg. 51
To What Extent Is Classical Greek Mythology Misogynistic?
Misogyny is the hatred, dislike or mistrust of women. In ancient Greek society this view that women
are inferior, weak and subordinate to men was allegorised in their myths and legends, which
regularly presented women negatively and portrayed them as the negative unconscious feminine
principal of a man’s inner personality (anima) that brought chaos, danger and death, symbolised in
the myth of Pandora’s Box. Several other females (including female-sexed creatures) in mythology
share the similarity of being threats to men, to cite a few, Mania the Goddess of Insanity & the Dead;
Nemesis the Goddess of Retribution & Vengeance; Lamia, a monster that hunts and devours
children, and Empusa, known for seducing young men as they slept and drinking their blood and
eating their flesh, these females share the similarity of being threats to men in myology.
Despite my view that Greek mythology is misogynistic, I also see that it is a more complicated and
intricate issue than it initially appears to be. Whilst arguing my viewpoint, I am going to discuss and
explore the misogynistic attitudes present in mythology, mainly on 7 popular female figures- deities:
Hera, Aphrodite, Athena and The Amazons; mortals: Clytemnestra and Helen of Troy; and the
monster: Medusa.
Arguments For Classical Greek Myths Being Misogynistic
The Amazons show some of the attitudes that the Greeks (patriarchy) held regarding females, and
humanises the extent to which mythology can be seen as misogynistic.
The Amazons were a fabled nation of independent, all-female warriors. The eighth century BC
author, Homer, was the first to mention the existence of the Amazons, who have since then
appeared in texts such as Herodotus’ Histories, described as ‘androktones’ (‘killers of men’).
Misogyny first appears in the classical presentations of them which stem partly from Herodotus’
analysis of the word “Amazoi”, which he perceived to literally mean “without breasts” or
“breastless”. He and others believed the Amazons commonly practiced self-mutilation in the form of
removing, amputating or cutting off their right breast. Those wholly convinced of this point to the
fact that they believed this to be a “necessary evil” in order to overcome all possible hindrances to
using a spear or drawing an arrow1, but are divided are what stage of life this would be at. Although
many suggest that this would have happened to young girls whilst still in childhood, and others when
the breast had fully developed, an alternate view suggests that this happened as a sort of rite of
passage for a female to leave childhood and enter womanhood.
This idea, that the Amazons were breastless, makes little sense looking at many artworks which
depict the female warriors with breasts, and more so in reference to modern culture and popular
fiction. The Author of The Amazons, Adrienne Mayor, agrees that the idea isn’t realistic:
“...anyone who’s watched The Hunger Games [Gary Ross, 2012] or female archers, knows that it is an
absolutely physiologically ridiculous idea.” (Worrall, 2014)
1 The Greek Island Specialists [online]. [n. pub], [n.d], [cited 20 January 2015]. Available from:
pg. 52
A number of other females such as Princess Merida2, Neytiri te Tskaha Mo'at’ite3 and Fa Mulan4
show that females with both breasts are more than capable of excelling in the art of using a bow. In
addition, medically the act of cauterising, cutting off or forcibly removing the breast would have
caused immense haemorrhage and would have resulted in the death of the woman. Palmer (2011)
supports this as he comments that the Amazons relied heavily on their upper body strength and the
kind of muscle damage that would be sustained from this process wouldn’t allow them to draw a
bow or swing a sword. This insight leads us to the logical conclusion that there would have been no
way to perform such mastectomies at the time without a rather high loss of life, and complications
and ‘risks’ to the development and health of their muscles and tissues. But whilst the binding of the
breasts would cause other possible development problems, it would have been a much safer
alternative by being less detrimental to the Amazons’ health and development, which makes the
theory that the Greeks made up this rumour more plausible in addition to their observable
misogyny, as the Amazons would have been aware of this with the wellbeing of the tribe in mind.
Their presentation as savages and barbarians transcends the rumours of them amputating a breast.
Despite their smoking hemp5, drinking kumis6 and getting tattoos, it was also said that they
mutilated, maimed and sometimes killed their own male offspring. The Amazonian practice of
mating was, in short, wild and promiscuous and the children that developed from this, if male, were
said to be killed, blinded, maimed, or sent to their father if they were lucky enough. According to
Mayor, the latter is the most likely of what happened to the male children in the Amazon society and
this is in addition to the fact that early beliefs assumed Amazons were not permitted to enter into
marriage as this was a form of slaver to man, his family and your children, which would lead the
women to subservience, is used as proof by modern scholars that the Amazons abandoned their
maternal duties. However, Mayor criticises this view and doesn’t see this as the females abandoning
their role as mothers, as this common custom in antiquity, called fosterage, was considered a way of
confirming treaties and ensuring good relations with another tribe, which a number of males
throughout history have experienced.
Ancient Greek works of art that often depicted the combats between the Amazons and the Greeks,
referred to as Amazonomachies, and included myths such as Hercules’ ninth labour of retrieving
Hippolyta’s girdle , her death, and Theseus’ abduction of Antiope. Although amazonomachy can be
seen as the rise of feminism in Greek culture, Page duBois identifies that in these arts the Amazons
were portrayed as a savage and barbaric race, whilst the Greeks, a civilised race of human progress.
duBois sees the Amazonomachies as representing the Greek ideal of civilisation, signalising the
Greek triumph over everything barbarous, of all monstrosity and grossness.7 Early art shows them
being similar in model to the goddess Athena with a bow, spear, double axe, half shield and a
helmet, whilst later art presents them more like the goddess Artemis, wearing only a thin dress,
Brave. Dir. Mark Andrews, and Brenda Chapman. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. 2012
Avatar. Dir. James Cameron. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. 2009
Mulan. Dir. Tony Bancroft, and Barry Cook. Buena Vista Pictures. 1998
a powerful concoction of fermented mare’s milk containing a higher alcohol content
Page duBois, Centaurs and Amazons: Women and the Pre-History of the Great Chain of Being. (Ann Arbor:
The University of Michigan Press, 1986; repr., 1991)
pg. 53
girded high for speed8, then in Persian attire . Mark Cartwright (2012) identifies that sculptures,
statutes and reliefs were, “an important method of mass communication and depictions of heroes
fighting Amazons reminded ordinary people that the political leaders had successfully defended
Greek culture against the threat of foreign, and in Greek eyes less civilised, invaders.”
The size and Persian-esque change to the Amazons’ clothing may serve as a sign to show them as
“barbarous foreigners” who do not belong to and are very far removed from Greek culture, tradition
and society. Dismembering the Amazons would make them out to be threatening the culture,
tradition and societal norms of Ancient Greece, which discourages the development of strong
females in everyday life. “…for a particular society, The Amazons become the Other being upon
whom are projected all of society’s doubts, fears, and prejudices; the Amazon is the exact opposite of
what a proper woman should be… her culture is the unnatural opposite of the natural
order” (Worrall, 2014)
The negative view of The Amazons that circulated in early stories stemmed from the fact that the
ancient Greeks, whilst fascinated with them, didn’t really understand or know much about them so
most of what was shared was hearsay or ideas they had come up with to explain the continuity of
their race. The ideas that propagated since then about them being “single breasted barbarians who
killed male children” etc., were accepted as they assumed their society was strictly female only.
After they overcame their ignorance, the ancient Greeks consciously controlled the Amazons’
presentation and representation to dissuade females in their own society from adopting similar
behaviours, traits and mannerisms of these liberated, strong and independent women. This Amazon
society provided a counterpoint to the Greek societies where only men could be valorous and
wanted to keep women subservient and shown masculinity always conquers feminity no matter how
equally matched, as shown in the Amazonomachies where the females’ defeats are immortalised.
The Amazons are noted for their courage, pride and more famously (or rather infamously) for their
opposition to patriarchy. Although independent of men and patriarchy they can still be seen to
submissive and weak as they ultimately loose the battles against various Greek heroes (all of whom
are male).There are almost 400 surviving examples of Hercules’ triumph over the Amazons as well as
several other works decorating the shield of the statue of Athena Parthenos in the Parthenon (438
BCE), on the temple of Athena Nike on the Athenian Acropolis (c. 425 – 420 BCE), and on the temple
of Ares in the Athens Agora showing Amazons being defeated. Surprisingly though, Mayor points out
that even in defeat, only two or three of approximately 1300 images of Amazons are depicted
gesturing for mercy and she considers this as a sign of empowerment as they are shown to be
“extremely courageous and heroic”, and I may have to partially agree. But I believe that misogyny in
the beginning was from ignorance but once the Greeks felt threatened by their culture and the
effect it would have on their own if left unrestrained, they would have had adopted a vested interest
in making the enemy seem as fearsome as possible whilst presenting themselves in a much more
favourable light, leading to the negative representations and intentional misogyny.
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, Amazon | Greek mythology [online]. Encyclopædia Britannica,
updated 10 August 2014 [cited 18 January 2015]. Available from:
pg. 54
A number of independent psychoanalyses of the goddesses indicate that in Neopaganism, a previous
and archaic culture, the Triple Goddess was actually worshipped instead of individual and separate
goddesses seen in later mythologies. Herodotus’ Histories is said to have actually given the Olympian
Gods their personalities and developed them in a way where they could be distinguished from one
another. In Neopaganism, the archaic Triple Goddess consists of three female figures, frequently
described as The Maiden, The Mother, and The Crone. Each of these figures symbolizes both a
separate stage in the female life cycle and a phase of the moon which, in some interpretations, is
perceived as aspects of a greater single divinity.
In specific relation to the three well-known Olympian goddesses, Athena, Hera and Aphrodite, and
their reception in classical Greek myths, elements of this Neo-paganist view manifest in the theme of
the goddesses appearing in threes, and representing the different aspects of the Triple Goddess.
There have been numerous instances where Aphrodite has punished those who neglected her or
despised her power, as well as favouring and protecting those who paid homage to her and
recognised her power. She punished the Assyrian princess with an intense sexual attraction to her
father which caused her to commit incest one night, in retaliation for her rather boasting that she
was more beautiful than Aphrodite herself. Like French and Raven point out, Aphrodite’s power is
dependent on others recognising and accepting her power in order for her to be or remain powerful,
or, at least in regards to her reward power, her possessing something that others want.
The most successful recognition of her power came from Paris, in the origin story for the Trojan War.
In this myth The Judgement of Paris, she tempted him into giving her Eris’ golden apple, declaring
her ‘The Fairest’ by overwhelming him with the intoxication of her words aided by visual displays of
her body.
“... she tilted her head so that her hair fell forward, concealing a blush on her face. Then she loosened
the girdle of her robe and beneath it, Paris caught sight of her perfect formed breast, white as
alabaster. …“Give me the apple and… you will possess the most beautify woman in the land, a
women equal to me in perfection of form. With her you will experience the greatest delights of lovemaking. Choose me, Paris, and she will be yours”9
Paris was taken with the deal of guaranteed love with the most beautiful woman that matched the
beauty of Aphrodite; she helped him successfully elope with Helen.
In regards to Athena, she initially doesn’t appear to be to be misogynistic as she is a powerful
female, who exemplifies wisdom, strength, intelligence, strategy and skill, and as such is an inspiring
role for women. Graves describes her mercy as being “great: when the judges’ votes are equal in a
criminal trial, she always gives a casting vote to liberate the accused” but to cite Athena in Aiscgylos’
drama, Eumeniudes:
“It is my duty to give the final judgment and I shall cast my vote for Orestes. | For there was no
mother who gave me birth; and in all things, except for marriage, whole-heartedly I am for the male
Steve Eddy, and Claire Hamilton, Understand Greek Mythology: Teach Yourself (United Kingdom: Teach
Yourself Books, 2012), p.126
pg. 55
and entirely on the father’s side. Therefore, I will not award greater honor to the death of a woman
who killed her husband, the master of the house.”10
J. E. Harrison described the story of Athena’s birth from Zeus’ head as “a desperate theological
expedient to rid her of her matriarchal conditions”11 and shows that this quote can equally be
inferred as Athena supporting and encouraging male patriarchy. Ellen Brundidge believes could lead
to the interpretation of Athena’s misogyny as she claims Orestes is guiltless of matricide because of
her view that a mother is only a vessel, and the father is the sole contributor of genetic material,
Athena citing herself as proof that a mother is non-essential to procreation, although her wisdom is
said to come from her mother, Metis (‘thought’).
Athena is shown to be misogynistic in a number of ways. This includes aesthetic things such as her
donning a male disguise whenever she comes to the aid of the Greek heroes. Whilst some may see
this as evidence of her encouraging patriarchy and its values, I don't really think this provides or
furthers a strong case. Females in Greek society were excluded from the public sphere of things so if
Athena had adopted a female disguise, she wouldn't be as helpful or effective due to the possibility
of the male heroes insisting women have no place in the affairs of men and, as a consequence,
refusing their help. The only time we don't see this is in Jason and Medea’s relationship, where Jason
had a strong reliance on her. Medea enchanted the dragon enabling Jason to get the Golden Fleece,
killed the giant Talos enabling the Heroes to continue their journey home and Jason allows her to kill
the usurping king to avenge his parents’ deaths.
I believe her heavy involvement with males should be seen as the successful infiltration of the male
sphere. Dr Christie Downing similarly interprets Athena's involvement with men in a more positive
way- to represent that women are able to have meaningful relationships with men based on
intellect, camaraderie, shared projects etc., as not all female-male relationships need to be
predicated on or reduced to sex.
In addition to this, the fact that she remained a virgin some also see to encourage patriarchal values
that women should remain pure, innocent and indifferent to the sexual advances of men. The
degree of naivety that accompanies this innocence is shown when Athena misses the sexual
implication in Hephaestus' coy reply of "undertaking the work for love" after asking him to forge her
Although Athena is so heavily involved in the male sphere, she is also said to preside over all
women's crafts as she ‘such as cooking, weaving and spinning’,12 but has a number of negative
relationships with other women from a young age, where she (accidentally) killed her playmate,
Pallas, whilst they were engaged in friendly combat with spears and a shield.13
Ellen Brundige, The Goddess Athena: Feminist or Misogynist? [online]. Mythphile, 2010 [cited 28 March
2015]. Available from: <>
Robert Graves, The Greek Myths: The Complete and Definitive Edition (United Kingdom: Penguin Books Ltd,
2011), p. 46
Graves, p. 96
Ibid, p. 44
pg. 56
Power and weakness are two general themes I have observed in relation to women and their
portrayal and representations in Greek mythology. These are general enough to incorporate the
more minor themes such as jealously, revenge, love and appearance.
Although power is generally defined as “[the] ability to control people and events”14, the concept can
be broken down and its specific types can be defined. Social psychologists John R. P. French and
Bertram Raven divided power into five separate and distinct forms which they identified as
legitimate, referent, expert, coercive and reward power, and analyse how power works, or fails to
work, in a specific relationship.
“O must draw on the ‘base’ or combination of bases of power appropriate to the relationship to
affect the desired outcome. Drawing on the wrong power base can have unintended effects,
including a reduction in O’s own power” (French & Raven, 1959)
The five bases of power French and Raven identified can be observed in the females, and at least
one type summarises the type of power they have.
Helen of Troy is a good example of a female who possesses referent power. This type of power is
dependent on Helen’s likability or how much those around her admire or identify with her. In
comparison the type of power Clytemnestra wields is best encapsulated in legitimate power.
Legitimate power (also called positional power) is when an individual acquires authority from
election, selection or appointment which is reliant on their position in the authority hierarchy. This
has been identified as a negative type of power as it stems from a belief that a person has the formal
right to make demands and expect complete compliance from others. Clytemnestra’s authority and
legitimate power derive from her marriage to Agamemnon- the king of Mycenae. In “The Iliad” she is
described to be weak and insignificant in comparison to the males in the text, although the audience
receive her as a blameless figure as she appeared to simply be a means in Aegisthus’ plot to finally
kill Agamemnon.
“At first Queen Clytemnestra turned a deaf ear to this dishonourable schemer. She was a sensible
woman… [Aegisthus]… carried Clytemnestra off to his own house, fond lover, willing lady.” (Homer,
Reiu, and Jones, 1991, p.38)
Naturally Clytemnestra didn’t give in at first, but the longer war went on, the more her resolve
weakened and eventually she gave in to Aegisthus’ attempts to woo her. We see here that she has
no real role in her husband's murder aside from falling prey to Aegisthus' attempts to charm and
seduce her in the midst of loneliness. Robert E. Bell advocates a similar blameless and weak
Clytemnestra in his analysis and commentary on Hyginus’ Fabulae. Bell recognises Clytemnestra as a
victim of both her husband and lover, and states that, in addition to the murder of Iphigenia, her
adultery was specifically due to the meddling of Aphrodite and her influence over Clytemnestra’s
two other sisters, Helen and Timandra, who had cursed them to be adulteresses.
power definition, meaning – what is power in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus [online]. Cambridge
University Press, 2015 [cited: 4 March 2015]. Available from:
pg. 57
Aeschylus’ version of Clytemnestra is perhaps the most known and ‘celebrated’ in his Oresteia
trilogy, she isn't shown to be the feeble and weak character that Homer described, but in fact
reversed the roles, with Aegisthus playing the accessory who Clytemnestra convinces to help her
with mariticide. Shortly after Agamemnon and Cassandra finally return and enter the palace, a cry is
heard and Clytemnestra, drenched in blood, is shown standing over their dead bodies. She leads
Aegisthus inside and tells him with a confident authority that they will be joint rulers in Argos, but
it's hard to doubt that Aegisthus will still remain an accessory to Clytemnestra once he marries her
to become king.
Although Aeschylus’ Clytemnestra did have a hand in her husband’s murder, readers are able to
sympathise with her to an extent as they probably view this as a plausible reaction to him killing her
daughter and undermining her position by returning with Cassandra. However, the extent of
sympathy towards her character is reduced by her involvement with Aegisthus, and more so if we
are to account for her plot to kill her son, Orestes, especially as she was so distressed about the
death of her daughter Iphigenia. Interestingly, many of the poets who have remade Clytemnestra
mention that she had once been married to the pervious king of Mycenae, Tantalus, who
Agamemnon murdered along with their new-born child before he forcibly married her, but mention
no recollection of the parallel of losing another of her children, which could have intensified the
feelings she acquired for her husband which then led her to kill him.
Clytemnestra’s first presentation by Homer shows her as no more than a subdued and pathetic
female, much like how women were considered in actual Greek society, who’s only purpose in the
eyes of men was a means to power and ruling the capital of Mycenae. She displays traits such as
submissiveness, subjugation and meekness, traits which are associated with the negative female
anima. In spite of this, the negative traits that the later Clytemnestra exhibits are those of cunning,
deception, and lack of loyalty aren’t much better, even if she is presented as powerful, autonomous
and a person of authority.
Weakness is commonly defined as ‘a state or condition of being weak’ or ‘a disadvantage or fault’, 15
and elements of weakness can be seen in negative traits. Negative traits include jealousy; meddling,
revenge and guile are male ideals of the negative ideals of women just as beauty; nurturing and
kindness are the positive ideals.16 The Greeks saw the negative traits of women as representing the
anima, or femaleness in themselves, which they considered a weakness that was to be resisted and
subdued at all costs. Therefore they had to overcome many females on their journeys, both mortals,
deities and monsters, who displayed various combinations of negative traits. An example of this
variety of feminine types that the Hero Odysseus came into contact with- Circe, Calypso, the Sirens,
Nausica- throughout his ordeals. Each were faced and dealt with according to their difficulty with
Odysseus using the anima within him to solve the problem set and outsmart them.
‘Weakness’ [online]. Collins English Dictionary [n.d] (HarperCollins Publishers) [cited March 2015]. Available
from: <>
Jud, House, The Representation of Women in Greek Myths [online]. [n. pub], 2012 [cited: 2 October 2014].
Available from: <>
pg. 58
Jealousy is a recurring idea throughout mythology which the author Ovid has explored to a great
extent in many of the myths he has retold. There are a couple of times that Athena displayed
petulant jealousy, in the instance of her weaving competition against Arachnae. In this myth,
Arachnae, an excellent weaver, boasts that she is better at Athena. Her hubris got Athena’s
attention, which sees her enter a weaving match with Athena. Upon inspection of Arachne’s work,
though Athena can't find anything wrong with the actual weaving, she is outraged at the depictions
of the scandalous affairs of the gods. Athena rips the girl’s tapestry because it is technically flawless,
strikes her, and humiliates her so that she hangs herself; Athena then transforms her into a spider.
This can be seen as an appropriate reaction for someone who so craftily incorporated the infidelities
of the gods into a craft that was the speciality of the goddess which was both impious and
disrespectful to her genealogy, but whilst we may say Arachne invited divine punishment, there are
hints of bitter jealousy in Athena’s treatment of her that go beyond justice. This is similar to the
punishments Aphrodite invoked on the worshippers of Dionysius when they refused to recognise
and worship her, despite being seen as a frightful and rather weak goddess in The Iliad. Her display
of coercive power comes from the belief that she could punish other for non-compliance, for
example, when homage isn’t paid or in instances of someone besting her aesthetically.
A second time Athena’s jealous nature can be observed is with her different treatments of the rapes
of both Kassandra and Medusa. Kassandra was violated during the sack of Troy which outrages
Athena so much so that she borrow a lightning bolt from Zeus and kills the culprit by cracking open
his ship. Medusa, on the other hand, gets a harsh treatment for having sex in her temple- even
though it was actually rape perpetrated by Poseidon. The difference in the two instances is that
where Kassandra was violated by a mortal, Medusa was raped by one of the top three Olympian
Gods. There is an argument that Athena was not powerful enough to punish one of the main gods so
settled with punishing her instead. In another version of the myth, a beautiful Medusa boasts about
being more beautiful than Athena (amongst other comments about herself) and she also, to an
extent invites a similar divine punishment to Arachnae. Athena’s relationships with women are rarer
and more ambivalent than her connections with men, and there is often a hint of rivalry, personified
greatly in The Judgement of Paris myth where he provoked the wrath of both Athena and Hera due
to Paris choosing Aphrodite as the recipient of the apple.
Hera is the wife and sister of Zeus. She married him to hide her shame of being taken advantage of
and raped. Though Hera was the goddess of women and marriage and represented the integrity of
marriage, her own marriage was turbulent and they often clashed as a result of Zeus’ numerous
affairs. Throughout mythology, Hera has displayed the negative traits of jealousy, especially to
mortals and those who bore her husband, children some of whom are demigods or heroes, some of
which Zeus notes amongst his conquests before making love to her:
“[…]For never before has love for any goddess or woman | so melted about the heart inside me,
broken it to submission, |as now: not that time when I loved the wife of Ixion |who bore me
Peirithoos, equal of the gods in counsel, |nor when I loved Akrisios’ daughter, sweet-stepping Danae,
|who bore Perseus to me, pre-eminent among all men, |nor when I loved the daughter of farrenowned Phoinix, Europa |who bore Minos to me, and Rhadamanthys the godlike; |not when I
loved Semeke, or Alkmene in Thebe, |when Semele’s son was Dionysos, the pleasure of mortals; |not
pg. 59
when I loved the Queen Demeter of the lovely tresses, |not when it was glorious Leto, nor yourself, so
much |as now I love you, and the sweet passion has taken hold of me.” 17
Hera is shown to be weak as she is unable and lacks to power to stop her husband from perusing
other gods, demigods and mortals, even though she does interfere. Hera is additionally seen to be a
weak female because she never outright rebelled against Zeus after a failed attempt in cahoots with
the other gods where Zeus punished her and hung her from the stars with an anvil attached to each
foot. She, instead, interferes with his plans and often outwitted him and utilised tactics like
borrowing Aphrodite’s girdle to seduce and distract him when she had a hidden agenda. Her tactics
when doing so are sneaky and encourages the misogynistic view that women cannot be trusted.
Hera had notable hatred for one of the offspring of Zeus’ infidelities, Hercules, and she made life
very difficult for him by setting in motion the events which led to his 12 labours. Though she
exhumes little power and influence, she, as well as the other goddesses’ reward power and coercive
power are very tightly interlinked, each playing on the other in a way that ensures the continued
recognition of their power.
The monster Medusa, on the other hand, is also a more complex character. In classical Greek
mythology she is generally portrayed as the embodiment of all things feminine, something which
again must be mastered by Greek civilisation. She is generally portrayed quite negatively literally as a
monster, inhuman and that should be feared, but modern reception of her has viewed her in a more
positive light.18
Arguments Against Classical Greek Myths Being Misogynistic
The first argument, that women need to be protected, may cite certain tales like Perseus saving his
mother Danaë from the constant pursuit of King Polydectes, who he later turned to stone with
Medusa’s head; as well as Andromeda, after her family and city abandoned her and left her chained
to a rock, as a sacrifice, for a sea monster to devour. Her mother boasted about Andromeda’s beauty
surpassing the Nereids’19 and as a result they got a sea monster to terrorise their coast and scare
people from their homes, enough so that when her father consulted the oracle and was told that he
would have to sacrifice Andromeda to get rid of the sea monster, the people actively encouraged
this. When Perseus comes across Andromeda, she is every bit our modern interpretation of a damsel
in distress, “stand[ing] helpless, awaiting the monster…”20, and it’s not too far-fetched to imagine
she would have swooned if not chained to the rock so tightly.
But if we look in reference to other females in mythology, we see that they realistically don’t need
men to protect them, as they have proved able to look after themselves. Penelope, for example,
Stephen Kershaw, A Brief Guide to Greek Myth (Brief History Of) (United Kingdom: Little, Brown Book Group,
‘Medusa: Analysis’ [online] <> [cited 11 March 2014]
The fifty Sea Nymphs, known also as Goddesses of the Sea.
Geddes Grosset, Classical mythology: A dictionary of the tales, characters and traditions of Classical
mythology (United Kingdom: Geddes & Grosset Ltd, 1997), p. 61
pg. 60
showed in her capabilities in 10 years of managing to keep a total of 108 suitors at bay for 20 years
whilst her husband, Odysseus, was fighting in the Trojan War. Homer tells us that there were:
“…not just ten Suitors, or twenty, but many times more than that…From Dulichium there are fiftytwo… with six serving men. From Same there are twenty-four, and from Zacynthus twenty noblemen;
from Ithaca itself a dozen of its best, and with them Medon the herald, and an inspired minstrel,
besides two servants, expert carvers.” (Odyssey, 16.245-53)
Although Penelope did this using qualities previously deemed negative, she was able to remain
faithful to her husband- even when many were convinced that he was dead. She depended on no
men to ensure that the suitors didn’t destroy her city, as well as protected herself from the
pervasive threat of them being increasingly complacent guests in her house for an elongated period.
Nothing this, men often aren’t the protectors, as they are repeatedly the ones that bring harm to
women. In the instance of Medusa, she was seduced and raped by Poseidon and went from the
victim to the respondent, then after being cursed and banished to an island to live in isolation, she
was hunted down and successfully slain by Perseus. The other warriors who were turned to stone as
a result of failing to kill Medusa, all consciously intended to harm her, even though she brought no
harm to anyone that didn’t seek her out. Naturally being faced with the two options of fighting or
fleeing, Medusa had to opt for the former due to her being trapped and having nowhere to flee to.
This does, to a degree, remove some of the blame from her, but then we run into a similar paradox
observed with Clytemnestra and Helen etc. By removing any of the blame, they become weak
victims of their circumstance, and if we don’t, they remain vicious, threatening, adulteresses- fated
to be the undoing of men.
Another argument against Greek myths being misogynistic is that the women who possess
unrestrained power and control are dangerous because they misuse their power and endanger
those around them.
This abuse of power can be observed in a number of these women. Aphrodite, for example, has
manipulated both mortals and other Olympian Gods into falling in love or cursing them because, in
accordance to coercive power, her power wasn’t recognised in the way she wanted and is said to
have engineered the Trojan War from the beginning. In addition to this, many ‘monsters’ (those not
mortals or deities) appear to be vengeful and use their power, especially over men, to entice and kill
men, like the Sirens attempted to do in The Odyssey by causing the sailors to ship wreck after luring
them close to the rocks with their song.
Whatever type of power, when left unrestrained, can quickly escalate like Clytemnestra, who, in the
absence of Agamemnon, grew complacent with the power she had. Her power that was a result of
her position could only be really taken away by Agamemnon and this comes under threat with the
arrival of Cassandra. The causes her to take drastic measures to retain that power (as well as other
reasons previously stated). In the instance of Euripides’ Medea, a similar thing happens although she
does draw from the expert power base and the power she has technically isn’t dependent on anyone
else. When Jason abandons Medea and their children in an attempt to remarry to gain a higher
position, Medea also ends up murdering the woman who threatens her position as Jason’s wife,
though she doesn’t actually kill Jason. Some argue that killing her children was to annihilate all
products of her and Jason’s union. Medea would have been exiles as a result of Creon, the King or
Corinth, being fearful of what she may do to his daughter, Glauce. Although she does hesitate to kill
pg. 61
her children, as well as her brother in a previous story, the fact the she does suggests that she won’t
show reluctance to remove anything or anyone who stands in the way of her goal.
On the other hand, women need this unrestrained power and control to protect their best interests.
For Medea, this was to ensure that she wasn’t exiled and have her children removed from her
custody. Clytemnestra, similarly, had to protect her position of Queen which Agamemnon and
Cassandra threatened, as his reinforcement of her power was dependent on his whims and feelings
towards her. Whilst I do agree that too much power hasn’t proved appropriate for any individual, it
appears to be necessary for the aforementioned females.
The third case put forward as to why Greek myths aren’t misogynistic is that, generally as is seen
throughout a number of myths, women bring and are associated heavily with negativity. As we have
seen, these women bring and encourage negativity from the implications of their power on men, to
the misuse of their power. They manipulate and play on men’s weaknesses, impose hardships on
those who do not receive them in a way deemed suitable as well as schemingly instigate wars and
conflicts. To justify this view, people look back to the myth of Pandora, the first woman, who was
created for the purpose of punishment and revenge and is responsible for releasing the plagues of
mankind onto the world; peaceful before the creation of women.
Technically it’s Zeus’ fault that (mortal) women bring negativity. With Pandora, Zeus ordered
Hephaestus to fashion her out of clay in order to ensnare Prometheus’ brother in retaliation for
stealing fire and giving it to humans. Fashioning Pandora out of clay made her officially the first
mortal human woman, and the and the majority of the females that came into being after this would
be of direct relation to her, just like Eve in the Christian creation story. Zeus was also the one that
gave Pandora the storage jug that contained all the plagues of mankind, knowing she would open it
as he had some of the other Olympians give her (negative) qualities such as curiosity and cunning.
This ensured in a sense that the generation that followed after Pandora would be seen as equally
responsible for destroying the harmony mankind had once known prior to the existence of mortal
women, and encourages the Greek belief that women were created by the gods as a punishment on
It can be denied that it this negativity is encouraged by the male as women have continued this
tradition of releasing tribulation to mankind as Aphrodite gave her daughter, Harmonia, a necklace
that brought great misfortune to all of its wearers or owners. However, the necklace had been made
by Hephaestus’ to curse any lineage of children resulting from Aphrodite’s’ affairs in retaliation to
her infidelity.
To summarise, Greek myths were often orated rather than written down so there are still are a few
deviations between the tellings of some myths, seen blatantly in the change in presentation from
Homer to Seminudes and Acyleus. I believe that altering the myths served to prove the point that
females were a [necessary] evil. Females (the triple goddess) had previously been worshiped and
their This influence of Asian religion omitted the kind, loving, nurturing, and powerful traits,
replacing them, or rather exaggerating their negative qualities jealousy, revenge, and meddling and,
guile or presenting them as androgynous figures with non-threatening characteristics to make them
pg. 62
less threatening to men and the newly established patriarchal system in society. Ovid, for example,
fascinated by female jealousy, exaggerated this instinctual emotions and feelings in both genders
and manipulated it to fit their agendas.
Athena has fewer flaws in comparison to the other females focused on, which may be due to the
fact that she is a male--dominated goddess. Although saying so is to, somewhat impose our modern
values on a different and preceding society, the Ancient Greeks have had a definite and heavy
influence on western societies and civilisations and are likely to have had an influence on our values
and attitudes towards things.
There is undoubtedly a misogynistic tone running throughout classical Greek mythology, due to the
fat that paradoxes arise whatever way we look at or interpret them. If women aren’t powerful, they
must be weak- and weakness and passivity are negative traits. Conversely, if women are powerful
they are vengeful, threatening and become a danger which also links back to negative traits.
Words (excluding footnotes and bibliography): 6 242
pg. 63
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Brave (2012) Directed by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman [Film]. USA: Walt Disney Studios Motion
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March 2015]. Available from: <>
DuBois, P. (1991) Centaurs and Amazons: Women and the Pre-History of the Great Chain of Being.
Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press
Eddy, Steve, and Claire Hamilton, Understand Greek Mythology: Teach Yourself (United Kingdom:
Teach Yourself Books, 2012)
Graves, R., The Greek Myths: The Complete and Definitive Edition. (United Kingdom: Penguin Books
Ltd, 2011) The Greek Island Specialists [online]. [n. pub], [n.d], [cited 20 January 2015]. Available
from: <>
Grosset, Geddes, Classical mythology: A dictionary of the tales, characters and traditions of Classical
mythology (United Kingdom: Geddes & Grosset Ltd, 1997), p. 61
Homer, D.C.H. Rieu and Peter Jones, The Odyssey, 1st edn (United Kingdom: Penguin Books Ltd,
Jud House, ‘The Representation of Women in Greek Myths’, Jud’s Creative Writing Medley [online]
(WordPress, 2012). Available from <> [cited 2 October 2014].
Kershaw, Stephen, A Brief Guide to Greek Myth (Brief History Of) (United Kingdom: Little, Brown
Book Group, 2007)
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Britannica, updated 10 August 2014 [cited 18 January 2015]. Available from:
pg. 64
‘Weakness’ [online]. Collins English Dictionary [n.d] (HarperCollins Publishers) [cited March 2015]. Available
2 65
I am pleased with the presentation I gave as I was able to get a lot of constructive feedback as well
as the chance to share my work with my peers. On the whole, it was a great experience as in
addition to being able to improve my presentational skills, it gave me more of a taster to the sorts of
things I’ll be expected to do a university and maybe also in future employment. The presentation
was an important part of the project for me as I would be able to convey my level of interest and
engagement to others, and if I failed to do it well then it would appear that I’m not that passionate
about my topic, which would result in failing to keep my audience entertained and decrease my
chances of getting the highest grade possible. Furthermore, I liked the freedom I was given as I was
able to do something that had vague links to my studies, but kept me interested from the beginning.
 My project was about something I have a genuine interest in which allowed me to convey
my passion to others and give my point of view about my chosen topic title. Enthusiasm
about my project rid me of my self-consciousness so I was able to engross myself in my
project and the words and ideas I wanted want to get across. As my attention was focused
on the audience I could gauge their reactions to see how my ideas are being received, so if
they looked confused, I could break down what I said and make it easier for them to learn,
to enjoy or to see my point of view and maybe even get them to share my enthusiasm.
I was able to successfully adapt my presentation to my audience, without losing
informational value. Even though I did use some jargon specific to my project, I limited the
amount I used as I didn’t want to stop the audience from engaging with my presentation and
the research I’d done if they weren’t familiar with them.
I was able to engage the audience through the use of rhetorical questions, which both
captured their attention and also got them thinking about (or maybe even challenge) their
own point of view.
As I didn’t pack the slides full with information, it left some room for me to improvise a bit
when presenting.
What could be improved/ what would I do differently next time?
 I could have made myself a bit clearer at points (notably in the beginning where I was a bit
nervous but as I became more comfortable presenting and engrossed with sharing my topic,
this became less of a problem)
Although I put some examples of women’s portrayal in myths on a couple of slides, I should
have added more contextual information and discussion about the women so the audience
can feel more informed and engaged at the end. This was the main focus of my project and
topic title so I should have put a greater emphasis on it.
Something which was pointed out in the feedback was the lack of visuals. I should have put
more visuals in my presentation to give the audience to look at as when an audience can
both hear and see what you are saying; they are more likely to retain the information as
visual aids not only focus attention, they reinforce your words.
pg. 66
These are two examples of feedback from the audience present at my presentation in the form of
the questionnaire I designed.
Sample 1:
Sample 2:
pg. 67
What were the main
strengths and weaknesses of
your Project?
The main strengths of my project include my level of analysis as well as
choosing an original and unique idea for the focus of my project. In
addition to this, I used a number of sources that ranged from books, to
online sources to interview. There were a number of these available
and I liked to go through them and see the most resourceful, useful,
and reliable to me. Another strength of my project is that I used a range
of myths to support or oppose the arguments explored in my
The main weaknesses are the fact that the project it does not feature a
lot of academics, which is something I would go about doing next time.
Also, I feel that I could have followed the timings for the project plan a
lot more closely and made more of an effort to meet the deadlines etc,
as well as explore the figures of Medusa and Helen of Troy a bit more in
the dissertation.
What new skills did you
learn/what new technologies
did you use?
This project has allowed me to develop my organisational skills,
integrate original ideas of my own, in addition to learning how to cite
and creating a bibliography. I have seen a number of these skills
manifest in the stages up to the write up of the dissertation. I was also
introduced to different areas of Google, such as Google Scholar where I
was able to journals and papers) as well as Google Books to het a
preview of some of the books I considered using in my project.
My project has also improved my decisiveness, my ability to work and
learn independently as well as problem solve, which I encountered
many times throughout when attempting to meet deadlines for certain
milestones and also when I lost my direction once or twice.
My project was also great opportunity to integrate new technologies
and apps that have proved both convenient and practical including
RefMe, Instapaper, Evernote and Scribd. These were very useful in mu
research as it allowed me the flexibility to continue with my project
almost anywhere (provided my phone was charged).
In doing your Project, what
did you learn about yourself
and the way in which you
I learned that I am able to do things quicker once I have a clear idea and
detailed plan for writing. Also, once I make notes or make a list of what
tasks I need to complete, as I will able to continue from where I left off.
Being organised in terms of having documents printed out and drafting
things on paper helps me a lot visually, as I was able to see what I had,
what I still needed and what could be taken out. In addition to this, I
realised that simplifying, highlighting and annotating sources was more
efficient for me than writing out notes of large sections of text.
pg. 68
Has your Project helped you
in terms of your future plans?
(e.g. study at university;
career choices; going into
My project has given me an insight into the world of Ancient history,
Ancient Greek society and also classical attitudes towards women
shown through literature and the surviving and most popular tellings of
myths. It has also helped me in terms of my future plans to study at
university, by allowing me to sample what an independent project feels
like, and skills that will prove useful in university like wring a
dissertation, increased my ability to learn independently and
familiarising myself with the Harvard referencing system.
Most importantly though, the project has confirmed that it is an area I
find very interesting and would like to pursue.
If I was to start my Project
again, what would I do
differently and what would I
keep the same?
Do differently:
 Include more modern day approaches to women in Greek
 Included feminist views, their reaction to the misogyny in Greek
 #;ology as well as their approach to it.
 Attempt to do some primary research of my own like get in
touch with academics.
 Include some art or images of females.
 Start slightly earlier in terms of research (it was good that I had
a plan from the summer but it still took some time to cut down
and make the focus more specific.
 Try harder to work more closely to the project plan.
 Perhaps include more females, if space permitted it.
Keep the same:
 The topic and project focus as I have enjoyed it a lot and have a
real interest in it.
 The range of different sources I have used
Any other comments?
I found the project to be great for gaining experience at
independent learning which is a skill that can be universally applied,
in work, other independent research I may decide to do as well as
in university.
Initially, the extent of independence I had was difficult to grasp at
first but once I got into my project, I gained greater confidence in
my abilities to work independently as well as overcome challenges
in my work with minimal guidance and assistance.
pg. 69