Antigone: Gender Conflict

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In the play Antigone there are many references that link to the oppression of women. Creon made many convictions insulting womenkind. His convictions seemed true to a large population of men. I believe the majority of men, in the ancient Greek times believed in the undeniable domination of women. The start of the Greeks began around 2000 B.C. with the Mycenaeans. They inhabited the Greek peninsula. (Perry 40)

“If we transgress . . . we” (Beatty 61) Ismene claimed it was an outrageous thought to stand up to a man. Her view of the inferiority to men came from the many laws restricting the lives of women. Women lived most of their lives in their homes. They were allowed on the streets with the company of a man, or for the reason of a funeral or religious festival. Only the poverty stricken women were allowed to work outside the home. They were not allowed to own property. They lived their lives under the control of a male figure. (Kishlansky 75)

Women in marriage did not gain much pleasure. They married between the ages of twelve and eighteen. (Kagan 53) The marriage was arranged by their fathers. Marriages were conducted with these words, “I give this women for the procreation of legitimate children...I accept...And I give a certain amount as dowry...I am content.” Clearly the purpose of the women was to bear children. The role of the husband is vague and seems as though he doesn’t play much of a role in the household. Contact with other men was not allowed for the wives, yet for the husband it was common to pursue adulterous relationships. An Athenian male stated “Hetairai we have for our pleasure, mistresses for the refreshment of our bodies, but wives to bear us legitimate children and to look after the house faithfully.” (Spielvogel 75) “Kill your own son’s bride?...Oh, there are other fields for him to plough.” Was Creons answer to Ismene...
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