Unfair Treatment of Women in Antigone and A Doll’s House

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From the times of Ancient Greece, women have been questioning their unequal role in society. According to an unknown source “Women have been taught that, for us, the earth is flat, and that if we venture out, we will fall off the edge.” Unfortunately, this unfair treatment of women still exists today. In the business world, men continue to make 20% more money on average than a woman in the exact same position. But this unfair treatment goes beyond just the workforce as displayed in the plays Antigone by Sophocles and A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. Antigone is a Greek tragedy written before or in 442 BC. It is the third of the three Theban plays by Sophocles. Antigone tells the tale of a young adult woman, Antigone, who must choose between following the laws of the state or the laws of the gods. A Doll’s House takes place in the late 1800s in Norway and depicts the life of a young married couple and what happens when a woman, Nora, chooses to take destiny into her own hands. Although the two plays were written almost 2000 years apart, they both demonstrate a feminist style that was unheard of at the time. The roles between male and female characters within the play show how society treated each gender. Both plays also include significant male characters that show shocking similarities as they dramatically influence the plot of the plays. Creon, the king in Antigone, and Torvald Helmer, Nora’s husband in A Doll’s House are extremely similar in their attitudes and thoughts toward women, sense of duty, and prideful nature.

Throughout both plays, Creon and Torvald Helmer express their stereotypical opinions about women. They perceive women as defenseless creatures who have no power within society. In Antigone, Creon expresses his o...

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...,000 years apart, both show a feminine approach to literature. The male characters, Creon and Torvald Helmer, are superior over their female counterparts, Antigone and Nora. This superiority is shown in the duties the men are expected to perform such as governing the state. Also, their negative thoughts about women’s capabilities help to put the men on a pedestal above women. But eventually, pride, the most powerful shared quality, would cause both Creon and Torvald to fall of their pedestals by the end of each play.

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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