01 October 2013
Macbeth & Antigone: Make Me a Man?
Feminism is a method of analyzing women’s positions in society by examining the gender role and how/why some behaviors are stereotyped towards a certain gender. A concept of feminism, patriarchy is a male centered and controlled society and is arranged to make women feel inferior to men in every occupation whether it be religion, family, politics, economics, legal or art. Women are then seen lacking in male organ,which is representative of male power and male character traits; they wind up being referred to as objects because of their nonmasculinity and lose their respect as human beings because they are women lacking male traits, being active, dominating, adventurous, rational, and creative. In contrast, the defined female gender role includes female traits which are identified as passive, acquiescent, timid, emotional, and conventional. Although the feminist theory suggests that females are weaker than males, both
Sophocles’s Antigone and Shakespeare’s Macbeth demonstrate that females can successfully achieve power, when they display both masculine characteristics. However, their female traits will remanifest and inhibit them from maintaining power, which leads to their deaths,or the deaths of those around them, indicating that their female traits debilitate them.
Despite being females, both main female characters in Sophocles’s Antigone and
Shakespeare’s Macbeth express masculine traits, to attain power to achieve their goals. In
Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth demonstrates masculinity when she declares, “Come,
you spirits/ That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,/ And fill me from the crown to the toe topfull/ Of direst cruelty”(Shakespeare I.V.4750).Lady Macbeth calls upon dark spirits that
“tend on mortal thoughts”, or spirits that are prone to deadly ideas, to “unsex” her, literally meaning that she wants