Feminist Criticism in Greeks Myths

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Throughout many Greeks myths, you can find the common theme of feminist criticism. Examples of a Patriarchal system can be seen within the stories of Medea and Oedipus. Feminism in these stories challenge the Greeks lifestyle of a patriarchal society and showing the equality of women. Within the stories Antigone and Bacchae you will notice the common lifestyle of a male dominated society and once again trying to prove that women are just as capable of accomplishing tasks as men are.

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Throughout the story Medea by Euripides, you see Medea challenging the patriarchal society that she lives in. Medea questions women’s role within a patriarchal society when jason betray’s medea by deciding to marry another woman.”Next must the wife, coming as she does to ways and customs new…have a diviner’s eye to see how best to treat the partner of her life…without resenting the yoke, our life is a happy one… But when a man is vexed with what he finds indoors, he goeth forth and rids his soul of its disgust, betaking him to some friend or comrade of like age; whilst we must needs regard his single self.”

Medea is comparing the restrictiveness of women compared to men’s complete freedom. Showing what the inequality of women is like during this time period. Women are seen in the story of oedipus as having little responsibility. They are basically just there to take care of the family and the husband. “(Oedipus) Still, send and fetch the labourer; do not miss it. (Jocasta) I will send quickly. Now let us go within. I would do nothing that displeases you.” this is just another example of how women will stay loyal to their husband within a marriage and how they can’t do anything to disappoint them. Living in a patriarchal society is just one of the ways that shows how women are treated unfairly.

The other is through male dominance. Feminism with in antigone can be seen through a male dominated society. Antigone portrays woman of being able to make there own decisions and being able to stand up for themselves, she rejects the traditional role of woman. But this does not please Creon.” Leave her alone, part, to perish, if she will; or if she live, to make her tomb her tenement. For us, we will be guiltless of this maidens blood; but here on earth she shall abide no more”. Because of the male dominate society that they live in, Creon believes that women should obey all of mens orders and if they dont they should be punished. Further proof of women living in a male dominate society can be found in Euripides The Bacchae when King Pentheus finds it shameful to disguise himself within women’s clothes.

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