In Ancient Greece, there was a social hierarchy onto which everyone fell in one category or another. There were the free and the enslaved, the Greeks and the foreigners, the rich and the poor. Gender was an important aspect in this hierarchical society in which Sophocles’ Antigone (Sophocles) takes place. The men had their roles as the leaders of society, participating in politics, law, and the military. Women, on the other hand, were expected to tend to the home or farm (“Gender in the Ancient World”). This was the traditional view throughout Ancient Greece, though as with all societal standards, there were those who opposed these limitations given to women. In Antigone, there are those characters who prefer
Through our classes discussion and presentations of our interactive orals, we discussed the cultural context of Sophocles’ play “Antigone.” In our discussion my cultural understanding was developed about the role of women in Ancient Greece and how Antigone challenges those roles, and the importance the importance of proper burial . We also discussed the life of the playwright Sophocles.
Women’s roles has changed dramatically throughout history. By looking at the lives of women, it would be possible to tell how the civilians at that specific period of time were living. In this paper, women’s lives in mainly three civilizations would be discussed, the Sparta, the Athens, and the Hellenistic era.
In “Gender and the Homeric Epic”, an article by Nancy Felson and Laura M. Slatkin, the gender roles of various characters in The Odyssey, an epic poem by Homer, are examined in the constraining and progressive lens Homer takes. The characters of the epic most explicitly analyzed are Odysseus and his wife, Penelope; in this article the authors show the traditional gender roles both adhere to, but also exhibit the ways in which the characters are able to reach across the restraining gender roles, without making this story entirely about gender. Through this article one can see that the constraining nature of gender roles seen in society, is not inherent in the society presented in The Odyssey, which describes an intrinsic fluidity which is seen in a plethora of characters.
Aristophanes and Sophocles both wrote similar arts that have been studied over the years. Antigone by Sophocles and Lysistrata by Aristophanes are two works of art that have many differences but they both assess an important point at the end. Out of all the differences between both of these plays, the one I consider most important is how each play ends according to the type of style it is. Even though the main characters of both of these plays were women, in Lysistrata, both the women and (eventually at the end) the men praise her for her beliefs, while in Antigone, almost everyone goes against what she feels is right which results in her death. The reason why this difference between Antigone (tragedy) and Lysistrata (comedy) is most important
“Surely, of all creatures that have life and will, we women/ Are the most wretched” (Euripides 229-230).
In ancient times, there is a general sense that women were simply items and slaves to their husbands. Ancient Greece specifically has a renowned reputation of favoring men. Men possessed the dominant role in public affairs and events while most women were pressured to stay at home. Very few records extensively discuss women; the records focus mostly on men. Despite the lacking records, it is certain how ancient Greeks viewed their women and their relationships with their male counterparts. Sadly, most of how women lived away from their husbands’ world and how they interacted with other female companionship remains a mystery.
Ancient plays throughout different cultures in history contained all male cast, failing to even cast women as they were deemed inferior. Tradition held that the culture in western societies restricted women’s roles. Even as female characters were indeed written in certain plays, the role were portrayed by a male. They regarded women being able to portray these roles as dangerous and that having men play them “neutralized” the danger it possessed. The Greek’s and the Roman’s both held these views making it impossible for women to be on stage.
Euripides’ The Trojan Women expresses the disbelief and hope of ancient Greek women during the Trojan war. The characterization and dialogue between Hecuba, Andromache, and Cassandra, shows the role of women in society during that time, as well as their different prerogatives towards the war and its consequences. Likewise, The Odyssey by Homer uses the main female character, Penelope, to convey the role of women and their opinions towards the social changes from the war. Both texts, collectively, use dialogue to develop hopeful and hopeless ideas within the women of ancient Greece.
Medea: The River Runs Backwards, performed by the actors of Zen Zen Zo, explores the use of dance, interactive programs, contemporary performances and song. All of which act as fundamental components to convey the real life emotions of Euripides primeval Greek Theatre tragedy, Medea. It is through the incorporation of the dramatic languages such as roles and relationships, space and mood that the primary themes are highlighted to the audience. Voice and movement and stage craft also allow the audience to be challenged while simultaneously celebrating life through the dramatic meaning, which becomes prevailing over the course of the performance. Dramatic irony played a vital role in the performance execution as it generated suspense and curiosity, involved the audience, established a personal connection and triggered strong emotions. This dramatic technique was conveyed through the challenging of traditional roles of women and mothers.
In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the female characters' desire to question the law of Athens and select their own husbands drives most of the conflict in the play. In a way, Hermia, Helena, and Titania are the protagonists of the play because each of their desires are being thwarted by the patriarchal structure of the society in which they live. The way the women try to overcome such hurdles does not sit well with the men. Accordingly, the men get on edge when their patriarchy is disrupted, so they make strict laws to try and keep the women under their control. The men of Athens feel threatened when women show agency because their whole patriarchal system depends on female complacency. Although Athenian society
Euripides created an unusual art work that left people mouth-opened. It was criticized and dissed during its time since the audience witnessed a very odd ending. The fact that Medea was really clever and powerful made it different as well. During those times, women had no role in the society. Women were just supposed to serve their husbands and take good care of the children. Euripides created a modern day woman who seeks justice and revenge with her cleverness and power. Medea acted as a feminine heroine who established that women can also be as strong as men.
This text shows how women, sick of their submissive and powerless position in the political scenario of Athens and Sparta, come on the scene and, through a smart stratagem, achieve their expected result. Women’s power in the play contrasts the real women life’s conditions in Greece in 500/400 b.C.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare and Medea by Euripides are known for their powerful critiques on the social expectations of women. Women during the time of Elizabethan and Greek theatre were often stereotyped and considered the weaker sex. Men were depicted as strong individuals who supported and protected women. However, both Shakespeare and Euripides broke expectations by portraying strong and iconic female characters in their respective plays. The idea of a strong female character was often unheard of during the time of Elizabethan and Greek Theatre. Through the thematic comparison of Macbeth, and Medea; this essay demonstrates how Shakespeare
In the ancient era was the theater plays and a very central part of the future society. Usually written the dramas and love stories. A classic piece of antiquity is Medea, written by Euripides. The play 's fable is that a woman who learns that her husband has been cheating on her. Her ultimate revenge is to kill their own children. The theme is revenge because the whole play is about how Medea 's anger leads to her murder their own children to avenge her husband.