Antigone Gender Conflict Essay Research Paper In
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Antigone: Gender Conflict Essay, Research Paper ?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 concerning his son?s marriage to Antigone. (Beatty 69) Prostitution prospered during these times. There were two classes of prostitution. There were the slaves run by citizens and the refined courtesans. (Spielvogel 100) Male prostitutes were not citizens but foreigners. Female citizens were prostitutes, yet male prostitutes were not allowed. (Spielvogel 92) "Take them and keep them within. The proper place for women." (Beatty 70) In other words women did not have any place in public life. Their place was in the home raising children and running the household. It was of great importance for women to give birth to male children. The son would become the heir of the father. (Spielvogel 100) "Only for this do fathers pray for sons. Obedient, loyal, ready to strike down" (Beatty 71) Men also believed that a women?s body was not capable to handle the weather. For this reason they should remain inside. (Spielvogel 101) Myths were used to justify the subjection of women. Myths about the first woman, Pandora, explained the supposed evil nature of women. In revenge of Prometheus giving fire to man, Zeus sent Pandora. When they took the gift of Pandora, they brought out evil. There were different versions of this myth. In a better version Pandora was curious. She opened a jar unaware she would release evil into the world. Slightly improving the image of women, yet Pandora is conclusively responsible for evil. (Kishlansky 54) Creon explained to his son, "To all one?s enemies. Do not be fooled, my son, By lust and the wiles of women." (Beatty 70) It?s evident many men believed they were superior to women. Creon refused to lose a battle to a woman. "And will never betray it-least of all for a woman. Better be beaten, if needed, by a man, Than let a woman get the better of us." (Beatty 71) Whatever the battle was men did not want to be beat by women. Only men were allowed to participate and attend the Olympic games.