Gender Roles Are Indicators Of A Society Is Structured, Based On The Expectations Of Men And Women Essay

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Gender roles are indicators of how a society is structured, based on the expectations of men and women. In particular, most of the surviving sources from the period are written from male perspectives, so what remains is how male writers reinforced their idea of a woman (Blundell, 2001). Characters of each gender needed to fill a set of expectations to conform to societal definitions of each gender, with characters defying such expectations being seen as shocking and unexpected. Under this lens, male characters are treated as being in a dominant position where the female characters had a secondary role in the way their society was run. Whenever a female character played a main role, she then took on many masculine characteristics but in doing so is treated as being an unsettling other The unsettling nature of these characters to Ancient Greek audiences defines them, making the choice of characterizing these women in such a manner all the more deliberate as is the case in works such as Medea, Agamemnon and Lysistrata. All of these works involve a female protagonist whose actions are treated as abhorrent within the work simply because they chose to take control for themselves. In contrast, male characters are not met with the same response for similar actions, because the traits required to be capable of them fall within the masculine sphere of expectations. From this position of male comfort, a woman acting outside of her role was not meant to be celebrated and instead
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