Declaration I solemnly declare that I had carried out this bachelor thesis independently, only working with the listed sources. I agree with this being stored

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Masaryk University

Faculty of Education

Department of English Language and Literature

Representation of a woman in D. A. Gemmell’s work: Troy I & II

Bachelor thesis

Brno 2015

Supervisor: Author:

Mgr. Jaroslav Izavčuk Jan Hudeček


I solemnly declare that I had carried out this bachelor thesis independently, only working with the listed sources.

I agree with this being stored in the liberty of the Faculty of Education at Masaryk University and being accessible for study purposes to the students of the Faculty of Education.

Brno, 30 March 2015


Jan Hudeček


I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor Mgr. Jaroslav Izavčuk for his notes, helpful advices and guidance through the process of writing my bachelor thesis and to my family, who never stopped supporting me.


Bakalářská práce ‘Representation of a woman in D. A. Gemmell’s work: Troy I & II‘ se zabývá kritickým rozborem postav v prvních dvou knihách trojské trilogie Davida Gemmella s přihlédnutím na použité historické reálie. Cílem práce je posoudit, zda vybrané postavy přispívají k ději, jak jsou přijaty společností, ve které žijí, zda se vyvíjejí a jestli jsou inspirované mytologií či jsou vytvořeny autorem.

Klíčová slova

Hrdinky, Gemmell, fantasy, Andromacha, Hekabe, Láodika, Kassandra, Kalliopé, gender, vyobrazení ženy, Troja


This bachelor thesis deals with critical analysis of selected characters in first two books of David Gemmell’s Trojan trilogy with taking in account historical facts. The aim of this work is to evaluate if these characters are contributing to the story, how they are accepted by the society they live in, if they are developing as characters and if these characters are inspired by mythology or created by the author.

Key words

Heroines, fantasy literature, Andromache, Hekabe, Laodike, Kassandra, Kalliope, gender, representation of a woman, Troy

Table of contents

Introduction 6

1.Troy in the context of David Andrew Gemmell’s work 8

2.Background for the characters 10

2.1 Time for change 11

2.2 Cities and their stance towards woman 13

2.3 Society and it’s gender discrimination 15

3.Anonymous and named woman 18

3.1 Little Seeress Kassandra 20

3.2 Queen of poison Hekabe 24

3.3 Unloved daughter Laodike 29

3.4 Runaway priestess Kalliope 33

3.5 Flame-haired goddess Andromache 37

4.Conclusion 41

5.List of references 43


Despite the fact that the events we now know as a Trojan War took place more than thirty-two hundreds years ago they are still being recreated and used through the various forms of art. After being passed for more than four hundred years orally from one person to another the first literary source was written as two poems called Iliad and Odyssey by Homer. Later in ancient history these events, which can be undoubtedly marked as one of the most important in Greek mythology, were recreated in poems by authors such as Alcaeus and Sappho, plays, mainly tragedies, inspired by the life stories of the most prominent characters, for instance Agamemnon by Aeschylus, Sophocles’ Ajax or Euripides’ Helen or outside of written artefacts as classic subject for poetry of ancient Greek. The events were not forgotten in later dates but rather reused by both Romans, who considered Trojan hero Aeneas to be ancestor of legendary founders of their city Romulus and Remus, and medieval authors, who praised heroism of defenders mainly in lyric poetry. In modern era the variety of works does not seem to have ending. Events of Trojan War can be seen in movies, TV series, novels, videogames, plays, songs and many more.

It is not hard to find works centred on heroes of this war from both sides of the conflict or events itself since the war was for a long time considered to be a man’s business. One the one hand characters like Trojan prince Hector, Achilles of Thessaly or Kings Agamemnon, Menelaus, Priam or Odysseus are known to both adults and kids around the whole world while on the other, their female counterparts were and still are used rather scarcely and in many works not even that. Kidnapped Mycenaean queen Helena, oracle Cassandra, Trojan queen Hecuba or Hektor’s wife Andromache are more of an exception while names such as Clytemnestra, Laodike and many others got lost in the history as mere spectators hardly involved in the events of the whole war.

British author David Gemmell wrote together with his second wife Stella (who finished after author’s death the third book) trilogy of books inspired by the events of the Trojan War but unlike the most of the other authors he situated the first two books before the actual siege and what is important for this thesis also used both genders equally to guide the reader through the whole story.

The aim of this bachelor thesis is to look at some of the most prominent female characters in the first two books and decide if they are actual contributors to the whole story or remained to be passive participants, how they are received by the society they live in, if it can be talked about any character development and if they are inspired from mythology or created as a new addition to one of the best known stories ever written. As a form of this bachelor thesis I have decided to work with characters as individuals developing through the course of the series, while the choice of the characters was based on how often were these characters used by the author. Ethos of these characters is different to the level that basing this thesis on their traits or gender aspects would lead to fragmentation of the work into more than the amount of chapters present.

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