Men’s Egos Exposed In A Doll's House And Antigone

1422 words - 6 pages

“I would not be a queen for all the world.” (Henry VIII) King Henry sums up in one short sentence the attitude that men have had towards women for ages. For centuries, men have been treating women like second-class citizens. They have always thought of themselves as superior. In the plays Antigone and A Doll’s House there are obvious examples of the conflicts between men and women. In the play Antigone, the character Antigone broke the law to do what she thought was right. Creon, her uncle and the king, was frustrated that she did not listen to him because women in that time period always did what they were told. In A Doll’s House the main character Nora, has taken drastic measures to save her husband’s life. However, she broke the law by getting a loan to pay for the trip to save her husband. When her husband finds out she has to pay off a loan, he becomes furious and doesn’t even ask why she did it. He was too focused on the fact that her actions would make him lose his manly pride. In both of the plays, men have demonstrated that they can be very obstinate, controlling, and are often too worried about their pride when it comes to women.
Men have demonstrated over the years that they can be very stubborn when they do not get their way. They have not only shown this quality in real life, they have also shown it in plays such as Antigone. Creon, one of the main characters in the play demonstrates this characteristic by saying, “Stop-before you make me choke with anger-the gods! You, you’re senile, must you be insane?” when he learns that someone has disobeyed his law. (Sophocles 25) Men felt like they had the superior role in society, so if they did not like the outcome of the situation, they often overreacted like Creon. This reaction often resulted in women feeling like they had no say in the situation. Since men had the superior role in society, women felt as though there was no way to benefit from the situation except to agree with them. In A Doll’s House, the character Helmer also demonstrates that he,too, can be stubborn. “What do you mean? Ah! You are teasing me! ... Am I not your husband?” (Ibsen 190) This quote shows the negative reaction that Helmer has when Nora won’t do what he has told her to do. It shows how shocked he is to realize that she does not want to do what she was told and he accuses her of trying to tease him. Men often acted this way, because women of that time period, which was the 1800’s, were not supposed to act in that manner. According to society, women were always supposed to listen to their husbands, because it was their husbands who supported them and gave them a home. There is yet another example from the play A Doll’s House that demonstrates this stubbornness that men seem to have had. “Nora, you are ill, you are feverish. I almost think you are out of your senses.” (Ibsen 199) Because Nora refused to listen to Helmer, he thinks that she is out of her mind when she refuses him. This...

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