Comparing Female Characters in Euripides' Medea and Sophocles' Oedipus the King and Antigone

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Comparing Female Characters in Euripides' Medea and Sophocles' Oedipus the King and Antigone In the times of the ancient Greeks, women had an unpretentious role. They were expected to do take on the accepted role of a woman. In most cases, a woman's role is restricted to bearing young, raising children, and housework. In Sophocles' Oedipus the King, Antigone, and Medea, the dominant female characters impacted upon men with authority and political power. It is an inescapable fate that one of these characters will fall, and that the Gods have control over everyone's fate. Each dominant female character portrays her willpower and commitment to their beliefs. This is what leads to the inevitable tragedy. In Oedipus the King, Jocasta, is Oedipus' wife and the sister of Creon. She became a part of doomed Theban dynasty when she married Laius, the King of Thebes. As a result, the marriage had brought together two branches of the family of Cadmus and seemed to guarantee political strength. She became disappointed because she was unable to produce an heir to the throne. Seeking a solution, Lauis went to the oracle at Delphi and asked how the proble might be overcome. Instead, the oracle proclaimed that the son born to Jocasta would be his murderer. Upon hearing the prophecy, Lauis rejected all women. This infuriated Jocasta and she had gotten Lauis drunk, and slept with him. This proves that Jocasta refuses to be outdone, even by her husband. When Jocasta had given birth to a baby boy (Oedipus), Lauis had it sent away by a messenger to die of exposure high in the mountains. A shepherd discovered the boy ... ... middle of paper ... ...crowd of subservient women. Works Cited and Consulted Euripides. "Medea." The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. Ed. Sarah Lawall. New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999. McDermott, E A (1989) Euripides' Medea: The Incarnation of Disorder. Pennsylvania State University:USA Woodard, Thomas. Sophocles: A Collection of Critical Essays, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966. Sophocles. Antigone. Exploring Literature: Writing and thinking About Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and the Essay. Ed. Joseph Terry. New York: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc, 2001. Sophocles. "Oedipus Rex." An Introduction to Literature, 11th ed.Eds. Sylvan Barnet, et al. New York: Longman, 1997. Watling, E. F.. Introduction. In Sophocles: The Theban Plays, translated by E. F. Watling. New York: Penguin Books, 1974.

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