favorite female characters in greek mythology

  1. Clytemnestra
    Her husband, King Agamemnon, sacrificed their daughter Iphigenia under the ruse of a wedding at Aulis in order to appease Artemis and be allowed to sail to Troy and fight the Trojan War. When the war ended some ten years later, Agamemnon returned home with a stolen daughter of Priam in tow. Immediately upon his return, Clytemnestra, who had become something like his proxy in ruling Mycenae, turned him from the favor of the gods and stabbed him to death to avenge her daughter.
  2. Cassandra
    The aforementioned daughter of Priam, Cassandra was cursed by Apollo with the ability to see the future with the caveat that nobody would ever believe her predictions. She saw death and destruction and was powerless to help it. And yet, Cassandra protested the truth of her visions with intensity; she never stopped trying to change the trajectory of the future.
  3. Atalanta
    Abandoned by a father who wanted only sons, Atalanta was raised on a mountainside by a she-bear. She was eventually taken in by local huntsmen and became a talented and dedicated hunter. Atalanta was the only female to participate in the Calydonian boar hunt (or any activity like it). She swore that she would never marry unless her potential suitor could beat her in a foot race; no man could. She was turned into a lion by Aphrodite for having sex on her altar.
  4. Medea
    Played an instrumental role in Jason's quest to find the Golden Fleece; could never have been achieved without her. Medea was opposed to her father's policy of killing all foreign visitors to their land, and her opposition landed her in jail (which she deftly escaped from). She ran into Jason and offered him help and loyalty (turning from her parents wishes) in exchange for marriage. She agreed, and when he later reneged on their agreement and betrayed her, she killed their children.
  5. Antigone
    The product of incest, Antigone accompanied her exiled father after his relation to Jocasta was realized. When he died and she returned, she risked her life and security to make the proper funeral rites for her brother, who fought against the King in the War of Seven Against Thebes. The king forbade this, but Antigone's deep running loyalty made her brother's funeral rites a priority. She was sentenced to death for her 'crime'.
  6. Polyxena
    While not mentioned in the Iliad, in other Cyclic Epics, Polyxena won the attraction and affection of Achilles, and as such was able to convince him to return her brother Hector's body to the Trojans. Achilles was so enamored that he made arrangements for the Greeks to stop their siege of Troy in exchange for her hand in marriage. Polyxena agreed to meet him at the Temple of Apollo, where Paris lay in wait and shot Achilles in his vulnerable heel and killed him.
  7. Penthesilea
    The Amazonian daughter of Ares, Penthesilea brought her all-female troop of warriors to defend Troy, seeking redemption for accidentally killing her sister Hippolyta. At Troy, she fought bravely and engaged in battle with the impossibly strong Telamonian Ajax. She was eventually killed by Achilles while fighting, but he so revered her strength and bravery and beauty that he returned her corpse unharmed for proper funeral rites.
  8. Andromache
    Her name literally meaning "man battler" or "fighter of men", Andromache was the wife of the Trojan prince and warrior Hector. They shared a supportive, loving and egalitarian marriage, a sharp contrast to every other male-female relationship of its time. Andromache performs typical obedient housewife duties while Hector fights, but also greets him on the battlefield and gives him military advice, which he heeds over the advice of his elders.
  9. Lysippe
    An Amazon queen, Lysippe founded the city of Themiscrya and settled Amazons near the Black Sea. A wise leader and skilled general, Lysippe established the code of conduct, laws and policies that Amazons lived by singlehandedly. She was killed in battle and revered as a hero to her people.
  10. Iphigenia
    One of Agamemnon's daughters and a priestess of Artemis, Iphigenia was brought to Greek camps at Aulis under the pretense of a marriage to Achilles. In reality, her father has planned to sacrifice her to appease an angry Artemis. When Iphigenia learned of the plans, she decided to accept her fate and become a willing sacrifice for the sake of the Greeks. Before she is killed, Artemis replaces her with a deer and brings her to Tauris, making her immortal.