Women´S Role In Society In Antigone, Aeneid, And The Art Of Courtly Love

1272 words - 5 pages

In the play Antigone written by Sophacles, Antigone did not really have a role to play in society. She explored a contrast between the behaviour expected by women and the way she really acted in society. Women were considered as slaves being servants in homes, weaving all the time. During those days women did not have any rights and only had to obey the King’s orders.
Even though that was the norm, Antigone still went against the laws of King Creon. Her two brothers, Eteocles and Polynices died fighting each other, because Eteocles refused to step down from the throne as his time to rule was over. Creon suggested that only Eteocles should be buried as he died an honourable death and Polynices did not.
Antigone, a sallow and wilful girl pushed against the boundaries and disobeyed the Kings rules. She buried her other brother because she felt it was the right thing to do. Why should Polynices be the one lying in the dust and go to waste? Antigone definitely rebelled openly and went against the kings commands while he was well aware of it. I believe that Creon only gave Antigone a harsh punishment because she was a woman; if the law-breaker was a man he would have not been sentenced to death.
She was very wise in her actions from my point of view. If one believes in something you should take a stand and fight for it. Don’t hide it just because you are a woman. Women also have rights and are allowed a place in society. Antigone was the exact opposite of her sister, Ismene. Independence versus obedience was the difference between Antigone and Ismens’s respective views on a woman’s role in society. Antigone believed in family ties, Theban traditions and the gods while Ismene obeyed all the rules of the King and knew her place in society. She was confident that men were destined to lead and that women should only follow and obey. Ismene was entirely of this world, an object of all men’s desires.
In the Aeneid written by Virgil, Dido was the competent and confident ruler and queen of Carthage, a city on the coast of North-Africa. She made it clear that she didn’t want to marry another man as she lost her first husband who was murdered by her brother, Pygmalion. She would rather focus on her political responsibilities.
By being queen of a city, Dido must have had some authority in making decisions. She then got struck by Cupid’s arrow and fell in love with Aeneas. Aeneas betrayed her and followed the Gods orders to leave the city. Dido lost the respect of the citizens of Carthage as they saw her indulge an obsession at the expense of her civic responsibilities. Thus she pushed against the boundaries by not doing the right thing according to the citizens of Carthage. Dido alienated the local African chieftains which led to self suicide.
Dido did not exactly turn into a rebel. She only went against her own will by marrying Aeneas. It was not against the laws of the country or city as far as I’m concerned. There were also many Gods that were women,...

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