Male Roles in the Plays Antigone and A Doll’s House

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“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.

The first fault of our male antagonists that concludes with the demise of our female leads Antigone and Nora is the large amount of “hubris”, or pride, that each character possesses. For instance, at the beginning of Antigone, Creon makes a decree that is flatly and purposefully disobeyed by his niece, Antigone. Even though over the course of the play many wise and gifted men try to reason with him that what she has done might have been the will of the gods, Creon refuses to give in to their insight purely based on the fact that he will not allow himself to be put to shame by backin...

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...view of the circumstances presented, allowing ignorance to become the downfall of their own well-being.

In conclusion, the three traits, pride, arrogance, and ignorance, all play major roles in the downfall of the lead male characters, Creon and Helmer, as well as the destruction of the lives of the two female lead roles Antigone, and Nora in the plays Antigone and A Doll’s House. Clearly these famous playwrights Sophocles and Ibsen had a firm understanding of popular male traits along with their roles in society.

Works Cited

Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll's House. World Literature: An Anthology of Great Short

Stories, Poetry, and Drama. Columbus, Ohio: McGraw Hill Glencoe, 2004.

140-202. Print.

Sophocles. Antigone. World Literature: A Anthology of Great Short Stories,

Poetry, and Drama. Columbus, Ohio: McGraw Hill Glencoe, 2004. 14-57. Print.
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