Although ancient Greece was a male-dominate society, Sophocles’ work Antigone, portrays women as being strong and capable of making wise decisions. In this famous tragedy, Sophocles uses the characters Ismene and Antigone to show the different characteristics and roles that woman are typical of interpreting. Traditionally women are characterized as weak and subordinate and Ismene is portrayed in this way. Through the character of Antigone, women finally get to present realistic viewpoints about their character.
The sexist stereotypes presented in this tragedy address many perspectives of men at this time. Creon the arrogant and tyrant leader is, the very character that exemplifies this viewpoint. Antigone’s spirit is filled with bravery, passion and fury; which allow her to symbolize the very essence of women. She is strong enough to do what her conscious tells her despite the laws of the land. Many examples in the play prove that Antigone’s character is very capable of making her own decisions in the name of justice. First, Antigone opposes Creon’s law and buries her slain brother; because in her mind it was immoral not to. She does this because she is compassionate and loves her brother very much. Creon, however, believes that his laws must be upheld and would do anything to prevent any type rebelling. He is even more infuriated when he learns that a woman has broken his laws. He tries to show Antigone who’s in charge by sentencing her to a life of imprisonment. Secondly, Antigone shows how determined she is by accepting her consequences with pride. She does not try to hide that she is responsible for breaking Creon’s laws, moreover, she takes all the credit. All the while she maintains her strength because she truly believes in her actions. These sorts of actions ultimately prove that Antigone is courageous and willing to stand up to men, which was completely against the norm at this time. Her spirit refuses to submit to the role of a helpless woman like her sister Ismene’s character does.
Ismene is a coward and refuses to help her sister because she feared men. This fear propels her to turn her head to the disrespect that is been shown to her brother, Polyneices. Her character is a close representation of the viewpoints of the male gender regarding women. She is subordinate and weak-willed. She refuses to stand up to Creon even though in her heart she knows that his laws are morally wrong.
Free Yellow Wallpaper Essays: The Cure is Worse
The Cure is Worse than the Disease in The Yellow Wall Paper
Often times what is meant to help can hinder. Positive intentions do not always bring about desirable effects. The “Yellow Wallpaper” is an example of such an occurrence. In this short story the narrator is detained in a lonesome, drab room in an attempt to free herself of a nervous disorder. During the era in which this narrative was written such practices were considered beneficial. The narrators husband, a physician adheres to this belief and forces his wife into a treatment of solitude. Rather than heal the narrator of her psychological disorder, the treatment only contributes to its effects, driving her into a severe depression.
Under the orders of her husband, the narrator was moved to a house far from society in the country, wherein she is locked into an upstairs room. This environment serves not as an inspiration for mental health but as an element of repression. The locked door and barred windows serves to physically restrain her. “The windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls.”(p218). Being exposed to the room’s yellow wallpaper is dreadful and fosters only negative creativity. “The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing.(p224). All through the story the yellow paper acts as an antagonist causing her to become very annoyed and disturbed. There is nothing to do in the secluded room but stare at the wallpaper. The narrator tells of the haphazard pattern having no organization or symmetrical plot. Her constant examination and reflection of the wallpaper causes her much travail. “I determine for the thousandth time that I will follow that pointless Johnston 2 pattern to some sort of a conclusion.” (p221).
The treatments call for isolation was a repressive factor .The narrator did not believe isolation would cure her disorder. Social contact and outside stimulation was her desire. “I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus, but John says the worst thing I can do is think about my condition.(p217). She was cut off from society and forbidden from seeing her baby. It is not natural to be confined to little social contact for large amounts of time. Society provides a sundry of different sights, sounds, feelings and stimuli to its inhabitants.