Traits and Values Associated with Femininity in Antigone
1880 Words8 Pages
The conventionally accepted roles of both males and females in ancient Grecian society were well defined and manifested. Women were considered the weaker of the sexes and, thus, were expected to remain in the home and perform their domestic duties, while the men were to be rulers and bread-winners. The woman’s voice was not heard on any issues affecting the society as her opinions were thought unworthy of consideration. She was required merely to reproduce, to execute her domestic duties well and to submit incontestably to the authority of the men. In essence the Greeks valued their women almost as little as a common slave was valued. These values and traits associated with femininity in ancient Grecian societies are…show more content… Property ownership could only be achieved through gifts, dowry and inheritance. The most important role of women in ancient Greece, especially married women, was considered to be the production of lawful children and the execution if household chores. Also she was required to literally remain inside the home, except she was attending a special event as in those days women found in the streets were either assumed to be enslaved, a harlot, a concubine or a woman who had to find work outside of the home because of poverty (Thompson, par.8). It was also considered respectable for a woman to remain out of sight and audible range when the man of the house had guests. Evidently, women of ancient Greece were subjected to what modern day women may consider harsh and unfair treatment as a result of some irrational beliefs and practices that were given judicial recognition. Because of fear of facing the consequences that may arise from contesting these laws, many women living during that period made no attempt to do so. So they remained as they were considered to be – weak and helpless – because of fear. Sophocles’ mythical anecdote of Antigone, however, shows the apparently unseen characteristics of women, though not all women, in ancient Greece. They were not as weak, helpless and unwise as they were believed to have been but were strong willed individuals, possessing strong characters and competent of making sound decisions.