Women in Ancient Greece

1638 Words7 Pages
Although Greece is renowned for developing and enacting the concept of democracy, women were excluded from the equation. Women in ancient Greece were believed to be weak of mind and in need of protection by a male guardian such as a brother, husband, or father ("Women in Ancient Greece"). Sophocles' play Antigone encapsulates the conflict in Greek society between genuine and farcical democracy. Greece's patriarchal society excludes women from formal decision-making processes so that, in the case of Creon, leaders enact their own arbitrary rules. Creon refuses to listen to what Antigone has to say about her belief that her brother deserves a proper burial. His lack of compassion is exacerbated by his unequivocal misogyny. For instance, when his son Haemon sticks up for Antigone, Creon ridicules him and calls him a "woman's slave," (Sophocles line 748). Creon also states that Haemon is "worse than any woman," a clear indication of his cruel, vindictive style of misogyny (Sophocles line 853). Creon's view of woman is such that to be called one is deemed an insult. Therefore, Sophocles' play Antigone represents the bitter battle in the Greek consciousness between true gender equality and the status quo of patriarchy. Ismene, Antigone's sister, is caught between two worlds. In one world is her sister, who is unafraid of the power that patriarchy poses and unafraid to die in order to usurp sexist values. Ismene also has one foot in the patriarchal world of ancient Greece. Right at
Open Document