Women have been belittled by men since the beginning of time. This is demonstrated in the novels Oresteia by Aeschylus and Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud. Men have always held the upper hand in society, politics, and technological advancements. Women have been purely sentimental sexual objects. Freud is keen to state that a man’s wish to fulfill his sexual desires is crucial. Women are cast as purely sexual objects, and, furthermore, as entirely unreasonable and illogical. In the novel Oresteia, we learn how women are sensitive, emotional, and exceptionally incoherent to men in the play. However, throughout the play the women, such as Clytemnestra, the king’s wife, prove that women are not pieces of meat. She is a great leader who is a remarkably strong mentally, and who can easily outsmart a man. However, women like Clytemnestra are a minority in these works of literature. Most women are perceived in literature as domesticated creatures who are irrational and emotional. Freud maintains a condescending attitude toward women, seeing them as mere objects, while Aeschylus helps reinforce Freud’s attitudes. By enforcing the gender roles in Greek society it is easy to reflect powerful female character who carry the mentality of a man, portrayals of "wrong womanhood" and solely displaying women’s sexual and family interests.
The Greek and Roman societies were a very patriarchal society. This is reflected throughout the myths in classical mythology. By looking at the many pieces of literature involving Greeks and Romans we will see that the roles women portrayed are very different from women’s roles in today’s society. Although there are a few similarities to women’s roles in today’s society, their roles are more like those women in the past. We can see this by looking at the qualities of Greek and Roman female gods and looking at the roles women play in the myths.
Gender inequality has been a controversial topic for numerous religions and cultures throughout history. Women were commonly regarded as the subservient gender, an idea that was no different in Ancient Greece. Throughout Greek mythology, women were considered inferior and troublesome symbols, while men were known for courage, leadership, and strength. While there is no argument of the flagrant sexism that is illustrated in Greek mythology, it can also be claimed that women were given a situated position of freedom, necessity, and power as well. Many popular Greek plays and myths contain several complexes and well described female characters. These goddesses themselves, partook the role of victim, heroine, and villain as it illustrated the diversity of characters in which women were portrayed and seen in both Ancient Greek society and mythology, allowing us to question “Were the women of Ancient Greek mythology equally represented as free and superior?” The creation of the Greek mythological universe, the creation of multi-gendered goddesses or deities, and the free and superior personalities accredited to women in Ancient Greek mythology to answer the question that women were fairly represented as powerful in Ancient Greek mythology.
For thousands of years it can be considered debatable on the true view of women over the years but one thing is for sure, many women suffered one commonality - discrimination. For decades women have been told the classics; “you can’t”, “you’re not strong enough”, “stay in the kitchen”, and because of this, young women today believe this is what they are viewed as. In “The Odyssey” there are many characters that share their disgust with the female gender and many who worship them,just like today. There is a possibility, even though it’s 2017, that there may be some men who believe men were given certain jobs to do and women should stick to what they were “meant to do”. It’s an issue - it’s teaching young men and women that women cannot do the same as men. It teaches women the true heroes are men, that women cannot be the ones to sail across the sea, to fight monsters, or even to simply be in charge of themselves. Since specific roles are assigned in “The Odyssey” to both men and women, it can teach women that while times have changed, in society it’s somehow important for women to be second next to men, when in reality that is not true.
The role of women in ancient Greek life was insignificant compared to that of Greek men. A woman's job was to take care of the children and to cook and clean unless she had servants or slaves that would do it for her. Yet, in Greek mythology, women were often written as major characters. Well-known Greek plays contain many well-written, complex, female characters. Female individuals in Greek mythology were often seen as very powerful and fierce and were depicted by “her wits, her beauty, or her bad deeds.”
In essence, society’s notion of female inferiority is reflected through the misogynistic views and actions towards women, as shown in the Greek society The Odyssey. These views, such as expectations of chastity towards women, continue on today. By recognizing sexist actions in literature, similar current actions can be acknowledged and
The duty of women portrayed in Greek society is a major subject in Euripides Medea. In old Greek society, ladies are delicate and compliant as per men, and their social position is viewed as exceptionally mediocre. Feminism is the hypothesis of men being viewed different in contrast to women and the male predominance over ladies in the public eye. Women's lives are spoken to by the parts they either pick or have forced on them. This is obvious in the play Medea by Euripides through the characters of Medea and the medical attendant. During the day and age which Medea is set ladies have exceptionally restricted social power and no political power by any stretch of the imagination, despite the fact that a ladies' maternal and residential power was regarded in the protection of the home, "Our lives rely upon how his lordship feels." The constrained power these ladies were given is diverse to present day society yet parts are as yet forced on ladies to acclimate and be a devoted spouse. Ladies have dependably been dis engaged because of their sex in present day and antiquated circumstances alike. In Corinth they are required to run the family unit and fit in with social desires of an obedient spouse. Medea, being an eternal and relative from the divine beings has a specific power in insight and guileful keenness. Being an outsider, Medea's wayward nonsensical conduct was normal in this play as she was not conceived in Greece and was viewed as an exotic foreigner. She goes over to the group of onlookers as an intense female character regarding viciousness. Some of Medea's responses and decisions have all the earmarks of being made a huge deal about as creators for the most part influence characters to appear to be overwhelming; this makes a superior comprehension of the content and the issues which are produced through the characters. Medea's ill-conceived marriage and the double-crossing of Jason drive Medea to outrageous vengeance. Medea acts with her immortal self and confer coldhearted demonstrations of murder instead of legitimize the results of her actions. Medea see's this choice as her lone resort as she has been exiled and has no place to go, "stripped of her place." To make sensitivity for Medea, Euripides
Sophocles’ Theban tragedy, Oedipus the King, is not sexist. The prominent play portrays both men and women justly. The events presented by Sophocles exemplifies a level of admiration and respect for women that was not ordinary in ancient Greece. This is predominantly achieved through the dialogue of Jocasta and Oedipus, illustrating a corresponding relationship. In addition, the behavior of Jocasta, analysis of other literature, as well as the bad fortune of the male characters reaffirm that the Oedipus the King is not sexist.
In the ancient world, views of women were often derogatory, yet some viewed women as intelligent and powerful. The Epic of Gilgamesh and Lysistrata both display the complex opinions towards women of the time. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, the characters Shamhat and Ishtar provide the audience with a biased view towards women, but this work also provides a more positive opinion of women through Siduri, Utnapishtim's wife, and Aruru. As paralleled in Aristophanes’s Lysistrata, Calonice and Peace represent negative perspectives of women, but this play also portrays women positively with Lysistrata and Myrrhine. The ancient texts of The Epic of Gilgamesh and Lysistrata simultaneously depict women as inferior, equal to, and superior to men to represent the complex views of women that were present during ancient times.
Throughout many pays and novels, women have had important roles of helping form the main characters, in the way they think, move or change the story. Women have always been subordinate to men all through history, but in plays, novels, short stories, etc, they have been given large enforcing roles, showing the power within women. William Shakespeare and Sophocles use guilt, pride, and influence to demonstrate the importance of the women’s role to support the main characters in both the plays of Macbeth and Antigone.
The different portrayals of female characters Antigone and Lysistrata illustrate the fundamental nature of the proper Athenian woman. Sophocles' Antigone allows the reader to see that outrage over social injustices does not give women the excuse to rebel against authority, while Aristophanes' Lysistrata reveals that challenging authority in the polis becomes acceptable only when it's faced with destruction through war. Sophocles and Aristophanes use different means to illustrate the same idea; the ideal Athenian woman's ultimate loyalty lies with her polis. This Greek concept of the proper woman seems so vital when considering Athenian society because both a tragedy and comedy revolve around this concept. The differing roles accorded to
In the book “Gender Trouble” (1990), feminist theorist Judith Butler explains “gender is not only a social construct, but also a kind of performance such as a show we put on, a costume or disguise we wear” (Butler). In other words, gender is a performance, an act, and costumes, not the main aspect of essential identity. By understanding this theory of gender as an act, performance, we can see how gender has greatly impacted the outcome of the play in William Shakespeare’s Othello. From a careful analysis of the story, tragedy in Othello is result of violating expected gender roles, gender performance by Desdemona and Othello, and the result of Iago’s inability to tolerate these violations.
Misogyny pervades the picture Aeschylus, Aristophanes, and Sophocles paint of Athenian society. In their literature, however, female characters catalyze plot by challenging this picture. Such characters--from Sophocles’ Antigone to Aristophanes’ Lysistrata--face grim consequences for acting independently. Clytemnestra and Cassandra from Aeschylus’s Agamemnon exemplify this archetype of autonomy and destruction. When they confront injustice, male characters perceive them as vindictive and hysterical. This paper will compare the standards of justice Aeschylus’s society imposes on men and women. I will argue that Clytemnestra and Cassandra are protectors of divine justice who reject subservience and thereby transcend the sexism of their society.
In the Middle Age literature, women are often presented or meant to come off as an unimportant character; which can also reflect on how the author wants the women character represent. Women are usually shunned, have no say or control in what they do; due to what men desire; like Ophelia and Gertrude did in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. But these female characters that I will discuss are women with power, control, and a voice. Majority of the female character’s appearances are made to represent wickedness, evil, or a seducer who challenges a man belief; and does not symbolize perfect women.