A Woman’s Place
Women are second-class citizens. A belief most of the world has bypassed in present day life, but in classical Greek societies, it was extremely prevalent. This belief influenced much of society back then and created a male dominated country. Women were thought of as baby makers. They were there to make and raise families. This quality of society is prominent in The Theban Plays, written by Sophocles. This book consists of three plays, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. Each of these plays relate to one another based on both the time period it is set in and the characters that appear in them. The role of women in these plays conforms to classical Greek gender roles. Much of what is said about the women is biased and derogatory. Many of the male characters, especially Creon, believe that women have no right to interfere with the political and social world that exists within the plays. This directly translates to the beliefs in the real world during the time that these plays were set. By looking at the relationships between the male characters and the female characters, we will discover that the women in The Theban Plays were not respected and treated equally as men were during that time.
Creon, the brother in law of Oedipus and King of Thebes in Antigone, is a prime example of Greek society’s point of view towards women. He is constantly saying things that degrade women, especially when it comes to the law and politics. He feels that women have no place in politics and should stay in their proper place. This is shown in many of the scenes in Antigone. “Therefore, I hold the law, and will never betray it – least of all for a woman better be beaten, if need be, by a man, than let a woman get the better of us.” (Sopholces 144) Creon is doing two things here. He is both asserting his dominance as a man and threatening the women. By saying that he holds the law, he is referencing that he is the King and what he...
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