Restrictions Placed Upon Women in Antigone and A Doll's House

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Discrimination against women is still a very real problem around the modern world. A Doll’s House written by Isben, involves a woman by the name of Nora and her family. The play takes place in southern Italy in the 1800s. Antigone is a play written by Sophocles, which takes place within a day in ancient Thebes, Greece. It tells the story of a girl named Antigone and the troubles she faces in an attempt to honor her deceased brother. A Doll’s House and Antigone portray women’s boundaries and what happens to those who dare to step outside of them, even if it is to save one whom they love. Nora and Antigone share rebellious, independent, and deceptive personalities. Women were subservient and outspoken in previous eras and their societies; however, Antigone and Nora rebelled against stereotypical images of women. Ismene, Antigone’s sister, was against the burial of their brother Polynices. “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, pg 18).” When Antigone tells her sister of her plans to bury Polynices, Ismene attempts to convince her not to. By Antigone burying her brother she would be going against Creon’s word, which would be absurd. Women were not to disobey men, let alone the king of Thebes. In A Doll’s House Nora tells Helmer, her husband, about her father during their last discussion. “He used to call me his doll child, and play with me as I played with my dolls (Isben, 197).” Nora is confronting Helmer about how she is being treated. She compares her life to that of a doll’s. She has been told her entire life what to do, how to feel, and what to think. She is now stepping outs... ... middle of paper ... ... able to have one last night of her normal life. Overall, both Antigone and Nora showed that women are capable of being their own person. Which during the times these plays were written was an outrageous idea. Their rebellious, independent, and deceptive personalities allowed them to overcome obstacles and conflict. Undoubtedly though, these characters helped pave the way for improvements with women’s rights. Since Antigone and A Doll’s House era, equality for women has become an increasingly common idea 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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