Analysis Of ' Oedipus The King And Antigone

1170 Words5 Pages
Meghana Aghi
October 6th, 2014
AP English
Mr. Shaffner
Matriarchal Madness
Women have been silenced for generations upon generations, their voices of reason stripped away and locked inside the caves of submissiveness. The key is thrown out into a vast ocean of misery and peril, and the hope to break free slowly diminishes. Yet, there are always those women who will never accept their expected place in society. These women try to break down those barriers in attempts to leave an imprint on this ever- changing world. In civilizations such as Athens, women were looked down upon and this battle to leave behind tradition proved to be almost if not fatal. Sophocles ' Oedipus the King and Antigone exemplify three distinct female Athenian characters who approach this battle with different fronts. Through analysis of Ismene, Antigone and Jocasta’s distinct characters, the reader better understands how Sophocles uses a feminine voice to break away from the tradition discerned in Athenian life to advocate for the rise of a matriarchal influence.

Ismene’s emotional facade overpowers her drive for defeating corruption, which prompts her to plead for mercy rather than demand justice. Sophocles uses Ismene’s character to serve as the expected Athenian woman, one without a voice in society. Yet, Sophocles tries to break away from this mold, illustrating the effect of a silenced woman through Ismene’s personality. Essentially, Ismene’s inferiority as a woman paralyzes her, and therefore,
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