To what extent do Euripides and Sophocles portray women as the cause of tragedy In Made, Hippopotamus, Oedipus The King and Antigen? Women In the plays of both Euripides and Sophocles Is a subject of much debate, indeed it seems as though people’s view on these female characters may well have changed over time for nearly two and a half thousand years have passed since the plays themselves were written. And no doubt people’s views, particularly with regards to women, have changed.
One could say that in Ancient Greek times they may have seen women as the cause of tragedy no matter how they were portrayed, whereas nowadays we are more likely to see them less as the cause, and more or less as the tragedies themselves. Of course, Made Is arguably the most prominent female character out of all four plays. One can certainly say that Made Instigates much of the tragedy that occurs In unspeakable acts that no doubt appear to condemn the violent passions and frenzy of women.
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Yet Media’s actions are the consequence of Season’s pride and hubris and desire and status which he endeavourers to satisfy through marrying Glance and effectively leaving Made and their children behind. And as a result Media’s hatred as “corroded everything. ” Perhaps the most controversial aspect of Made is her decision to choose to satisfy her desire for revenge and selfish future needs rather than preserve the lives of her children. But Euripides makes this almost inextricable as to whether we can wholeheartedly condemn Made.
For in contemplating the murder of her children we see very much that she does love them; she talks to herself saying “do not think how very much you love your children, how you gave them birth. ” This provokes our sympathy for her Internal pain, but she does Indeed conclude that her children “must die. ” Nevertheless it is very much understood that an Athenian audience would not have had such a sympathetic take upon Made. For we know that one could only be an Athenian citizen both parents had to have been Athenian.
And so for a foreigner like Made to commit the crimes she did would have made her a much-hated fugue, and their sympathy would have been much more with Jason, despite him being the primary cause of all the disaster in the play. But Euripides was aware of these hypocrisies, and he often pointed out the ways that Greek society attempted to efface or excuse the injustices It perpetrated. And he gives us real women, whether it be Phaedra (whose love of Hippopotamus brings her a dishonorable downfall) or Indeed Made, who have suffered In “wretchedness” and become twisted, “hateful” and “cruel. Media’s suffering of course Arlington from helping Jason return from Colitis, killing her brother and abandoning her homeland in the process. So one can the tragedies as much as he makes them the tragedies themselves. And this is something that people, and particular we as a modern audience, can more easily empathic with. The idea of women being part of the essence of the tragedy, rather than the cause of it, can also be seen in Sophocles’ Antigen. For Antigen, like Made, is very strong willed as well as stubborn. Perhaps another two traits that an Athenian audience may have detested in a woman.
But Antigen may have had the audience torn, much as she finds herself, between her duty to the Gods, family, burial rites and her obligation to abide by the rules of the state and Croon the king. At first Antigen was making statements like: “… If I had allowed my own mother’s son to rot, an unburied corpse – that would’ve been agony! ” Which is ironic for her to say, for her mother, Coast, did actually leave her son (perhaps at the order of Alias), Oedipus, as an infant to die on Mount Citroen. He then becomes her husband (and Antigen’s father) later on, a bond that forms the main tragedy in Oedipus The King.
But Antigen soon retracts upon her attempted burial of her brother Policies, and her self-righteous death wishing statements and begins to doubt herself, almost regretting her piety; “… L suffer now at the hands of what breed of men – all for reverence, my reverence of the gods! ” No doubt it is Croon she refers to when saying “what breed of men,” who is evidently portrayed as the main villain of the tragedy. For it is his unassailable stubbornness, his thick engrossment in his own newfound power and his hatred of the supposed traitor Policies, that leaves him blind to the piety of Antigen’s acts.
And although the Athenian audiences respect for the rules of the state and law, it is hard not to see Croon in the wrong when he is left, as Eateries predicts, with the deaths of Antigen, Hammond and his wife Eurydice. Thus it is perhaps evident that Sophocles displays Antigen, as the title of the play suggests, as more the tragedy itself than the cause of it. Indeed, one can see that both Made and Antigen come across very much as averters of male structures. With Made, after Season’s engagement with Glance, systematically destroys essentially all that Jason ever has or hoped to have.
And Antigen directly goes against the law of the state and direct order of Croon. But with regards to Coast in Oedipus The King, we see that she is very caring and understanding towards Oedipus; “l have a right, I’d like to think, to know what’s torturing you, my lord. ” And even within the background of the play, we know that she consented to Alias’ vehement wish to abandon the baby Oedipus, for fear of his death, which as prophesied, came by the hand of Oedipus.