Comparing Homer's Iliad And The Code Of Hammurabi

704 Words3 Pages
The roles and social status of women in ancient times are being described by many well-known playwrights and poets. Yet, different works shows different opinions towards “women power”. In this essay, I am going to compare Homer’s Iliad and The Code of Hammurabi along with Sophocles’ Antigone.
To begin with, in the Iliad, a woman 's role depends on her beauty and position in the society, making them look more like a “prop”. For instance, Briseis used to be a respected princess and the wife of Mynes. However, her great beauty made herself became a reward between Achilles and other warriors in the Trojan War—she is no longer a dignified queen but a belonging whose role being manipulated by men. Another example is Helen. She was taken away from
…show more content…
What is worth mentioning in Sophocles’ play is that he not only showed the weak side of women but also the strong ones. For example, Ismene is the traditional role of women in ancient Greek—coward, fear of men power and feeble. For Ismene, "we must remember we were born women, not meant to strive with men" (Antigone). She even chose to die with Antigone while hearing her sentence, for she was afraid that she would be alone, she could not be able to fight against Creon, this men-dominant society. In contrast, her sister Antigone presents the “women power”. She dares to challenge the arrogant tyrant Creon by expressing her points bravely and furiously, trying to warn him that women do not always have the obligation to do what men command; she dares to protest the balance between duty and law, “…for it was not Zeus made such a law; such is not the Justice of the gods.” (Antigone), making her decisions in an equitable way and promise to find the real justice so as to give respect to her brother, Polyneices’ burial. Even though in the end Creon tries to give Antigone a lesson by putting her to prison, Antigone did not escape, for she understood that her action and pride would bring about these consequences, and she did not regret for doing this. In addition, we can also observe women power by seeing Creon’s words and behaviors. Creon’s hubris as a men affects how he thinks about women, he considered women as secondary creature. Yet, not until his arrogant led to great mistakes did he realized that men and women had the same position—they should be
Open Document