\It’s often said that one should let their heart control their actions, rather than let their mind ruin what they truly want. This struggle on whether to follow your conscience or to side with the demands of the authority is presented in Sophocles's Antigone. The two main female characters in this tragedy, Antigone and Ismene, are shown in different lights: Antigone is a brave woman who is willing to disobey the king; Ismene is simply just the frail sister of Antigone. Their lifestyle, personality, and moral compass influence their actions throughout the tragedy. Antigone and Ismene show great contrast from each other, but their morality determines the fate of their lives.
Medea is a female figure who does not passively sit back and accept the injustice of what has been dealt to her. She stands up for herself, maybe a tad bit rashly, and gets her revenge as she so thinks she deserves. Being presented as a weak female figure is something that Medea rather not portray. Medea is cunning, strong, and not silent in the fact of patriarchal injustice, which leads her to have the upper hand. She swore that Jason and the royal family would pay, and she did not disappoint.
Sue Bridehead embodies many of the characteristics of Mill’s ideals about women, though as Mill’s essay explains, Sue is also a product of her society, and unable to escape its pressures, in her breakdown, forfeits her individuality and independence to ease her anxiety and guilt. By succee... ... middle of paper ... ...omen, like Sue Bridehead, will suffer at the hands of their society. Human history’s preoccupation with status and class ultimately hinders individual progress as social standards are emphasized more to control the population, rather than celebrate achievements within a community. John Stuart Mill and the fictional Sue Bridehead deal with the struggles of women to exist as individuals and gain recognition for their inherent qualities, rather than dismissal based on gender. Sue manifests the characteristics that Mill praises in independent women, however cannot separate herself from social pressures that are also present in Mill’s predicament for women.
Antigone is the woman who stands up for what she believes in with her beliefs and the actions that are carried out. Antigone says, “Your edict, King, was strong, / But all your strength is weakness itself against, /They are not merely now: they were, and shall be,/Operative for ever,beyond man utterly” (1.68-72). Antigone courageous behavior continues from the beginning of the story until the end of the play. Antigone standing up for what she believed in causes her to become a role model towards females in that time period. Women did not have the opportunity to be able to enter public speaking and express how they felt towards situations.
Even though they go against gender stereotypes, complete equality is one battle avoided by Christine and Emilia. In Shakespeare’s Othello, Emilia defies gender norms when she employs a speculative mindset introduced by the character Christine in The Book of the City of Ladies. Christine realizes a new perspective on women’s oppression after her journey with the Ladies of Reason, Rectitude and Justice. In The Book of the City of Ladies, she becomes more outspoken about female priorities as the text progresses. “In short, all you women, whether high, middle or low social rank, should be especially alert and on your guard against those who seek to attack your honour and your virtue” (de Pizan 239).
Jane does not let her affections overtake her morality, though her return to Mr. Rochester proves passion to be stronger than reason. Women in the Victorian era were held to an inferior status. Many had to hide their feelings, conceal their creativity and they were sought to conform to societal rules. Jane Eyre never quite followed this, growing up in a contemptuous household Eyre acted out, calling her provider, Mrs. Reed, "deceitful" and describing her upbringing as "miserable cruelty" (Bronte 37, 36). Jane's upbringing instills her strong belief in justice toward those who treat others unfairly.
She refuses to allow the innocent to receive persecution for the wrong reasons. Hope is assertive, aggressive, courageous, bold, and quite outspoken. The characteristics that she portrays are atypical to those portrayed by 17th century women. Instead, Hope’s attitude and behavior more closely resemble that of a female from the 21st century living in an era not meant for her.
For example, Antigone goes against the king’s orders without her sister’s support. Her act of rebellion is clearly looked down upon by society, this can be shown when Ismene tells her “Remember we are women, we’re not born to contend with men. Then too, we’re underlings, ruled by much stronger hands, so we must submit in this, and things still worse.”(Sophocles,18). This quote goes to show that Ismene felt Antigone was out of her place and attempting to fix things that were out of her control. However, against her sister’s will and advice Antigone decides to continue forward with her brother’s illegal burial stating, “Even if I die in the act, that death will be a glory”(Sophocles, 18).
Sophocles depicted Antigone as a stubborn female, who was determined and courageous to make life happen and defended her belief. She overturned the conventional image of ancient Greek females, who hide themselves from the public and trapped by the marriage. And most important, she had done these by herself, who stood against a powerful state. In all, the Theban Plays portrayed a strong female character to exemplify the distinguishable characteristics of the female entity in a patriarchal society. Works Cited Sophocles.
Jane “resisted all the way,” and “like any other ... ... middle of paper ... ...ighting for acknowledgement in a society dominated by males. She, unlike her aunt, is not afraid to stand up to John, and is not bossed around by him. She is constantly fighting with him. Bronte uses this difference between Jane and the other women characters to create the picture in her reader’s mind, that women who display the behaviors of the classical Victorian female are bad, and that the women who show independence and individuality are good. Bronte’s Jane Eyre is brimming with feminist ideology rebuking Victorian-Era gender-roll ethics and ideals.