In my mind, Sonny Carroll’s poem perfectly represents what an empowered woman should be; firm, determined and able to stand on her own feet. The characters of Nora and Antigone, from Henrik Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’ and Sophocles’ ‘Antigone’ respectively, completely fit my description of ‘the empowered woman’. As inspiring figures, they left me wondering how they maintained their identities even in their patriarchal societies. What touched my heart the most is the way they fight for what they feel is moral and just instead of following what society dictates. I believe that each and every woman possesses the qualities like ‘the empowered woman’ in Carroll’s poem. Through my essay, I’d like to show how females in both the plays, during the adversities and extremities of time, evolve into empowered women. I believe that the idea of female empowerment, through these characters, inspires fellow women to make names for themselves rather than being labeled or controlled by men. Over the centuries, writers have used literature to show the societal status and the mind sets of the people in their era. ‘Antigone’, a Greek tragedy, and ‘A Doll’s House’, a highly controversial drama, inhibit the same thematic approach, depicting the oppression and submissiveness of women in male-dominated society and how they overcome their obstacles with firm will, inspiring millions of audiences from then till now. By Antigone’s character, Sophocles portrays a figure through whom he can express his faith in feminism in the 4th century. Likewise, Ibsen’s concerns about the position of women during the 19th century are beautifully breathed to life in ‘A Doll’s House’ through Nora’s transformation from a doll-like puppet to a human. Both of the writ... ... middle of paper ... ... left the arrogant male characters stunned. Throughout the world, writers have shown their concern over a particular cause through the characters of their works. On the whole, Sophocles’ has beautifully shown Antigone as an inspiration. I quote, This shows that even if Creon is obstinate, the audiences are inspired by Antigone’s bravery. Though some people support Creon openly, somewhere deep down, they secretly side with Antigone’s bold and daring behavior. Similarly, through Nora, Ibsen tries to illustrate the status of women and how they should be brave and speak for themselves in times of need. Many women are able to relate to these two female characters and I’m certain that they have served as role models for women’s emancipation. I hope that every woman is motivated by these characters to become ‘the empowered woman’ from Sonny Carroll’s poem.
“Remember we are women, we’re not born to contend with men” (Sophocles, 18). The popular literary works, Antigone and A Doll’s House, written by Sophocles and Ibsen, are two famous tragedies that have been performed and read throughout the decades. Although countless audiences have been entertained by these well written plays, few would care to guess that many lessons and several unfortunate truths can be found with a less than tedious inspection of the characters and the reactions they give to their circumstances. The two main characters in these stories, Antigone and Nora, face adversities and problems that are amplified by their society’s views on the rights and abilities of women. The two main male characters in these plays, Creon and Helmer, cause the greater part of the struggle that the female protagonists face. The difficulties that Helmer and Creon create during the plot of these stories are the cause of three major characteristics of what one would consider typical to a headstrong man in a leadership position. The three features of Creon and Helmer that lead to the eventual downfall of Antigone and Nora, are pride, arrogance, and ignorance.
Stereotypically masculine traits are seen in Antigone throughout the work, such as confidence, resilience, and integrity. These traits, according to Creon, are unsuitable for her, a woman, and this may very well be Sophocles himself potentially creating awareness of gender issues using this play and its characters.
Marlo Thomas says, ‘‘One of the things about equality is not just that you be treated equally to a man, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a man.” Antigone, written by Sophocles, and A Doll’s House, written by Henrik Ibsen, are two plays about two women who defy the rules of society. In Antigone, an ancient Greek play, the girl breaks the king’s law in favor of the gods’ law by giving her brother, Polynices, a proper burial. In the end, Antigone dies because of her behavior, but not before she shows how strong she is when she stands up to Creon. In A Doll’s House, a Norwegian play that takes place in the late 1800s, Nora Helmer appears to be a normal, subservient wife to her husband, Torvald. However, throughout the drama, the audience finds out that she breaks the law by taking out a loan without her husband’s approval. Although she does it to save her husband’s life, her actions will still be looked down upon in society. In the resolution of the play, Nora ruins her good reputation and breaks society’s rules when she leaves Torvald and her three children. It is important to understand the roles and relationships of women because they affect the families, society, and everything else around them. The restrictions and limitations of women in Antigone and A Doll’s House affect the characters’ persistence to achieve their goals, willingness to commit crimes for their love of someone close to the them, and breaking of society’s rules.
Have you ever wondered what women were like before the liberation movement of the 1970s? In the plays Antigone, by Sophocles, and A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, women are represented as weak, underlings to men. However, both protagonists in the play, Antigone and Nora, show their strength and courage when they go against society. Antigone shows how strong she is when she goes against the King’s decree and buries her brother who is a traitor. Nora, to save her husband’s life, takes out a loan which wasn’t allowed for a woman to do in the 1800s. Both these actions show these two women were strong enough to go against society’s belief, and do what needed to be done. It’s important for men and women to give their opinions and feelings in a relationship because there needs to be a balance of power. Sophocles and Ibsen show how society has placed constrictions on women from five B.C. to the 1800s by portraying Antigone and Nora to be intelligent, determined, yet subservient women.
The plays Medea, by Euripides, and Antigone, by Sophocles, are often analyzed as being supportive of feminist ideas. Yet, one wonders whether Euripides and Sophocles really could have been behind what would have been a very radical idea in their misogynistic society. A feminist is defined as “a person who supports the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of social, political, and economic equality to men.” Key word: advocacy. Euripides and Sophocles portrayed ideas we now recognize as feminist, however, I do not believe they themselves supported or could even conceive of equal rights for women.
...a and Antigone in this doltish way to show the members of their society and our society today that a woman can be smart. Ibsen and Sophocles were way ahead of their time. Most women even back in the 1800’s went from the hand of one man to the next. They listened and obeyed everything that their fathers said then when they were old enough to get married they listened and obeyed to everything their husband said, and that was how there life was. Antigone and Nora show women, in particular, in 440 B.C. and in the 1800’s that it was a good thing to be independent and stand up for what you believe in. They show the whole audience and the world even today that they are strong and courageous and have great motivation that helps them get through their life whether that means they end their own life or they move away from the men holding them back from their full potential.
The character of Antigone in Sophocles’ play, Antigone, is one of the most controversial tragic characters in classic literature. The war in her city has torn her family apart, caused the death of both her brothers, and created a reason for her to fight against the King, her uncle. Her uncle, Creon, makes a ruling that her brother, Polynices, is not to be buried because he is a traitor, but according to her religion, her brother’s soul will not go to the afterlife until he is buried. In defense of her brother, she buries his body illegally and is subsequently sentenced to death. With her complex patterns of thought, bold actions, and the end she encounters, the character of Antigone causes debate among critics as to whether or not Antigone is in fact a tragic heroine. She can be perceived as a martyred hero, dying for love and religion, or as a fanatic woman who lacks the ability to think rationally. The way in which Antigone’s role is interpreted can further help to interpret Sophocles’ view of women and politics. In taking the view that she is a hero who died for her beliefs, it shows that Sophocles was aiming to prove that women deserve to be treated as equals and as citizens of Greece.
Gloria Steinem said, “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men”. Feminists empower women but look for equality between both genders. Unfortunately there is a stigma and fear that comes with this word; when hearing the word feminist people quickly think of ‘man hatter’. In this paper I will be arguing that Antigone and Wicked both challenge and reinforce the conventional ideas of gender. This is an important topic because it will help us understand both sides of the pro-feminist and the anti-feminist. It will also help us see how women were viewed in the past and how they are viewed today.
In Henrik Ibsen’s drama A Doll’s House, the playwright uses the protagonist, Nora, to present an atypical depiction of 19th century women. Throughout the course of the play, Nora progresses from a childish dependent wife to an independent woman who leaves her husband. She shows aspects of progressing from an Angel of the House to a New Woman. During the time period, an Angel of the House was a wife who was expected to be, powerless, self-sacrificing and above all, pure. A New Woman was described as someone who was intelligent, educated, emancipated, independent and self-supporting. They departed from the typical Victorian woman, and critics have said that The New Woman was a very fin-de-siècle (the end of the 19th century) phenomenon’. This essay will focus on the extent to which Nora can be viewed as a New Woman in the play.
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.
The idea of equality for women has been the subject of countless books, speeches, and performances for decades. The concept of a world in which a woman can be considered equal to a man is not a new concept in today’s society, but it was in that of 19th century Norway. This is the world of noted playwright Heinrik Ibsen, a forward thinking individual with ideas that challenged the restrictions of society time and time again. A forerunner in the women’s rights movement, Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House offers a commentary much before its time on the dangers of a patriarchal society through the evolution of its protagonist, Nora. In his play, Ibsen uses the Christmas tree to symbolize the growing empowerment and independence of Nora, as well as the steady deterioration of Nora and Helmer’s marriage.
..., and that they say so in the books. But henceforth I cant be satisfied with what most people say, I must think things out for myself”(Ibsen, 199). This goes to show that women actually were people that could fend and think for their selves. Nevertheless, Antigone showed Antigone’s hubris as a weakness where as in A Doll’s House Nora’s was shown in a more empowering way to women.
Women in most cultures have been designated as second to men and in some instances, considered below male children as well. With the passage of time women gained respect and the right for equality. Although gender discrimination remains, a lot of progress has been achieved. Literature is a one of the facets of the human race that reflects the culture change of people. William Shakespeare’s King Lear portrays the patriarchal system of the Renaissance era, which leaves women completely dependent on the male head of household. In Henrik Ibsen’s Doll House, set in the modern era, there is still a patriarchal system but women have just a little more freedom. The article, The Doll House Backlash: Criticism, Feminism, and Ibsen by Joan Templeton, analyzes the gender subordination in A Doll House. Comparing and contrasting the themes of the two plays followed by consideration of the article’s research on the theme in A Doll House, assists in developing an understanding of the gradual progression of women’s freedom to be their “true selves” through equality with men. The “true self” is a person's character that is masked by a false portrayal designed to appeal to others.
The role of women has changed significantly throughout history, driven by women who took risks in setting examples for others to follow. Henrik Isben, author of A Doll's House, said “ A woman cannot be herself in society of the present day, which is an exclusively masculine society, with laws framed by men and with a judicial system that judges feminine conduct from a masculine point of view” (Innes 147). This proves that Isben was aware of male dominance in society during that time period. In his drama, “A Doll's House,” it deals with gender favoritism and male dominance.