Antigone And The Canterbury Tales: A Literary Analysis

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Throughout the course of human history, literary works of various styles and genres across multiple cultures have had varying depictions of both genders. A literary work’s depiction of gender, particularly females, is generally dependent on the culture and/or society its author hail from as well as other factors such as regional and political ones. Despite such differences, literary works can share similarities in the depiction of genders. Antigone and The Canterbury Tales are prime examples of such types of literary works. Despite that nearly two millennia past between the publication of the two-respective works, the two have similar as well as contrasting portrayals of women. In Antigone, the setting takes place in Ancient Greece, circa 441…show more content…
Largely due to society in both books being dominated by the patriarchy, women had less rights in comparison and overall less opportunities for their life. In both ancient Greek and medieval English society, common expectations of women were that they were to be subordinate and obedient to their male superiors, generally their fathers, husbands, or other male authority figures. In regards to the portrayal of their female characters, the similarities are very apparent. Both Antigone and the Wife of Bath go against their respective societies’ expectations of their gender by defying their male authorities. Neither of the two affirm to common stereotypes of women of their time. Both are strong and resilient and stand by their actions in face of heavy criticism (and in Antigone’s case, a death sentence). Despite the similarities, there are notable difference in the two literary works’ portrayal of women. Women in medieval England generally had much more social mobility and weren’t as restricted in what to do with their lives in comparison to ancient Greek women who were controlled by the fathers or husbands. Widowed women were able to inherit their husband's property as well as assume powerful political position such as Queen regnant. Such opportunities were unavailable to ancient Greek
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