Powerful Women in Antigone and A Doll’s House

1149 Words5 Pages
The music group, Aqua, once sang in their song, “Barbie Girl,” “I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world. Life in plastic, it’s fantastic.” Aqua’s lyrics symbolize the role women had to play in the 18th century. Women were expected to perform like perfect human beings, and put a smile on their faces regardless of the situation. They were expected to follow the rules at all times and submit to men in an instance. Antigone, written by Sophocles, and A Doll’s House, written by Henrik Ibsen, demonstrate the interaction and roles with men and women during the 18th century. The main characters in both plays, Antigone in Antigone and Nora in A Doll’s House, show how women have struggled to find their place in the social order. They had to fight for what they wanted and face dire consequences if they disobeyed the law. Sophocles and Ibsen display the constraints placed upon women in patriarchal societies and examine how the women overcome them by creating characters that display the following characteristics: strained relationship with men, braveness, and heroine. Along with all other women in the 18th century, Antigone and Nora had a patriarchal relationship with men. During an instance in A Doll’s House, Nora tells Helmer how she feels about their relationship: “We have been married eight years. Does it not strike you that this is the first time we two, you and I, man and wife, have talked together seriously?” (Ibsen 196) The relationships between man and woman were so limited in what was appropriate for a man or woman to talk about to their spouse, that Nora could not express her personal feelings in front of a man that was supposed to stand by her until death due them part. This instance displays the tragic truth about how women could no... ... middle of paper ... ...in their era. They rose above society and proved themselves in many different forms. They proved that women can and are an asset to a functional world. In the words of Harriet Tubman, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” The women of this world have been proving themselves since early Greek civilization, and will keep advancing because women like Antigone and Nora continue to dream every day. 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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