This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Male Reactions To Female Power In Antigone

1488 words - 6 pages

Western society has a long history of subjugating women to men. Some cite the idea that women are somehow weaker or inferior to men as a reason for the existence of this social dynamic. In Sophocles's Antigone and, Dürrenmatt's The Visit, however, the female leads show great strength and are even able to threaten the male leads with their power. Creon and Alfred Ill's disdainful and oppressive treatment of women stems not from the supposed inferiority of women, but from the theme that man is afraid to lose control. This theme is developed through particular events in the plot: the men begin in positions of power, which are then threatened by the women. Their amateur reactions to the powerful women cause them to lose more control until in the end, they have nothing. Their redemption comes not through defeating the women, but through accepting responsibility for their own actions.
To begin with, Creon and Ill have power socially and politically. Creon is the King of Thebes and Ill is the “most popular personality” (Dürrenmatt 15) of Guellen. Sophocles and Dürrenmatt set the stage by implying that their current situation will last–– “the gods” (Sophocles 170) themselves appoint Creon as king and the people of Guellen unanimously “[agree] to nominate” (Dürrenmatt 15) Ill as the mayor's successor. Furthermore, foreshadowing of their actions towards Antigone and Claire appears as approval. The elders of Thebes assure Creon that he has power over the “living and the dead” (Sophocles 172), justifying his actions towards Polyneices's body and empowering his punishment of Antigone. Ill, on the other hand, represents Guellen's last chance for survival. “All depends” (Dürrenmatt 14) on Ill's ability to capitalize on his and Claire's past romance and the entire town of Guellen helps him to use Claire for money as it helped him in the past to use her sexually. The authors then give the impression to the audience that both men succeed in exerting their power and control over the women. Creon entombs Antigone without any immediate consequences and Ill seems to seduce Clara to the point where she admits that she will not leave Guellen “in the lurch”(Dürrenmatt 30). It gradually becomes clear, however, that since the arrival of the women, the power of the two men has been placed in jeopardy.
Despite the fact that the women are originally treated abusively, Claire and Antigone strip away Ill and Creon's power. According to the societal standards of the time, Antigone's rebellion emasculates Creon if she “[walks] away
unscathed” (Sophocles 180). Antigone's bold refusal of Creon's edict catalyzes
further disapproval of his rule. The elders agree with Antigone but “trim their tongues” (Sophocles 181) to Creon to avoid his wrath. Figures such as the Leader of the chorus “[have] misgivings” (Sophocles 174) about not burying Polyneices but merely mentioning their doubts makes Creon “furious” (Sophocles 174). Even the Sentry, who arrests Antigone himself,...

Find Another Essay On Male Reactions to Female Power in Antigone

Differences in the Male and Female Brain

682 words - 3 pages that females, on average, have a larger deep limbic system than males. Due to the larger limbic brain, woman are more in touch with their feelings, they are generally better to express their feelings than men (“Male-Female Brain Differences”). Women are the primary care takers for children because of their strong ability to be connected and bond well with others. Containing a larger limbic system also leaves a female more likely to become

In the Minds of Male and Female Leaders - FTCC - Introduction to Business I - Research Paper

830 words - 4 pages 1 McKinney Morgan McKinney Mr. Ray D. Walters BUS 137-2901SP 24 April 2017 In the Minds of Male and Female Leaders There’s not a doubt in one’s mind that men and women think, feel, and act differently than one another. But how do those of the opposite sex differ when it comes to leadership? How affective are each teaching tactics? Is one gender a superior leader than the other? Men and women’s leadership skills are different in the way they

Comparing the Respect Given to Female Gymnasts vs Male Gymnasts

958 words - 4 pages century, however, militaries around the world began to focus on a different kind of strength-advanced technology, equipment and arsenals of weaponry. As a result, gymnastics lost its power as a military training tool and eventually became a respected sport of its own rights. Also, today gymnastics is one of the most popular Olympic sports. Women first started participating in gymnastics events in the 1920’s and were first included in the Olympics in

Penalties for success: Reactions to women who succeed at male gender-typed tasks

918 words - 4 pages . So negative reactions to successful women occurred only when the job was male in gender type, but not when it was female or neutral in gender type. Same negative ratings were directed at successful men occupying female gender-typed jobs. But the findings suggest that the failure to act in accordance with gender-stereotypic norms does not uniquely produce social disapproval for men, if it does not the same then for women.The study 3 was focus on

The Representation of Male and Female Characters in Two Comedies

2348 words - 9 pages The Representation of Male and Female Characters in Two Comedies Situation comedies as a whole are a conservative representation of life mainly due to the fact they are screened at prime family times and want as large an audience as possible so try not to be too controversial. This means they very rarely challenge the status quo and re-enforce stereotypes. I am looking at how male and female characters are represented

Exploring Male and Female Expectations in Oscar Wilde's Play

1283 words - 5 pages The primary theme of this play is love and marriage and Wilde explores the male and female role expectations, beliefs and ideals of domestic relationships of the upper class British society in the late 1890’s. The social norms of the Victorian era had strict rules for the behaviours of men and women. For women, who were legally their husband’s property until 1884, high standards were expected. They were to run a respectable household, delegate

Characters' Reactions to Death in Riders to the Sea

798 words - 3 pages Characters' Reactions to Death in Riders to the Sea In "Riders to the Sea" several reactions to the death of Michael take place when each of the individual characters learn of the tragedy and express their grief. The first, which would most naturally occur, is for someone to become extremely pessimistic. The character Mauyra most obviously becomes pessimistic even while she is still not sure of the fate of her son. Even the idea of

How Did Female Surrealists Aim to Subvert the Male Gaze within Surrealist Photography

1826 words - 8 pages could only ever see woman as a mediator. They limited her according to a set number of roles. She was envisioned as virgin and mother on one hand, as witch and whore on the other. Surrealism has thus been correctly described by Gavin Bower as a ‘men’s club, or rather a crisis of masculinity’. Attributing women to these roles ultimately means assimilating the female body with the passive role, as an object exclusively of the male gaze. In no

Eight Literature Reviews Show How the Ratio of Female to Male Teachers Effects our Students

2385 words - 10 pages can affect a students’ achievement. The next article written by Acker (1995) observes the reasons behind why there are more female teachers and why there is such a gap between the number of female to male teachers within the classroom. The reasoning behind becoming a teacher can be influenced because of the nurturing role, how comfortable they feel speaking in front of students, the power and command a teacher has over the students and if they

Different reactions in the USA to the Vietnam conflict

890 words - 4 pages Throughout the war there were two very clear reactions from the American population to the country's involvement in Vietnam; the pro-war (supporters of the war) and the anti-war (non-supporters of the war). Thousands of people "changed sides" from one to the other as the conflict progressed. The government paid little attention to them however at the end of the war the main factor of the US's withdrawal and loss was the lack of support from the

Allegations of both Male and Female Witches in Early Modern Europe

2264 words - 10 pages stereotypical female witch as “an independent adult woman who does not conform to the male idea of proper female behaviour (Larner, 2002).” Females in early modern Europe are acquainted with subordination to males, and consequently a powerful woman, in this era, is deemed as something out of the ordinary (Levack, 1987). Accordingly, women who veer from social norms of being submissive, unassertive, and fearful of God are often accused of practising

Similar Essays

Creon Vs. Antigone Or Male Vs. Female?

1035 words - 4 pages , search for power fuels there desire to put women down to lessen the possibility of a threat. Antigone is a woman who firmly believed in humanly burying a dead body and whose actions changed the course of Thebian history. Her brothers have been slain by each other's swords in battle and Creon, the king of Thebes, has made a decree stating that one brother shall be given an honorable burial for his service to the city, while the other will be

Study Of Male Reactions To Women In The Military

1577 words - 6 pages , unbiased questions to both male and female military members. An example of one of the questions I asked was, “What has been your experience with women/men in the military? Mostly positive or negative?”. I emailed these surveys ten military personnel from various branches of the military. I choose to use email as a medium of communication because I knew it would be easier for them to answer my questions if they were able to do it on their own time

Male And Female Relations In Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse

2918 words - 12 pages Male and Female Relations in To The Lighthouse           To The Lighthouse exemplifies the condition of women when Woolf was writing and to some extent yet today. It offers a solution to remedy the condition of both men and women. To say the novel is a cry for a change in attitude towards women is not quite correct. It shows the plight of both men and women and how patriarchy is detrimental to both genders. Mrs. Ramsey. Both suffer from

Male Female Relationships In Shakespeare Essay

3163 words - 13 pages play fits this aspect of a Shakespearean comedy. Irene Dash, author of Wooing, Wedding, and Power: Women in Shakespeare’s Plays, contemplates the idea of women having greater equality during Elizabeth’s time on the throne. Did women, in fact, have greater equality during the time when Elizabeth ruled? According to Dash, “Surely having a queen as monarch must have tempered male theories about female inferiority” (34). One would think