Gender Inequality In Oedipus Rex

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Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men (“Feminism”). Women have always struggled in the fight to gain equality with men, despite the many major advances; society still has a long way to go in addressing the issue of gender inequality. Women’s rights are somewhat a delicate and unsettled subject that society still continues to debate today. The belief that women simply because they are women are treated inequitably within a society as it is organized to prioritize the male viewpoints and concerns. Within a patriarchal society, women have always been placed on a lower status compared to men. The socially constructed patriarchal society that degrades the image of women is highly …show more content…
Today, literature is one of the main factors that influence women 's image in society. However, the many socially constructed gender roles found in literature inaccurately describes the attributes of females. The play Oedipus Rex is an excellent example of how literature degrades women in society by placing stereotypical gender roles on them. The play Oedipus Rex was focused around a patriarchal society, where the power resided with the males. The role of the strong leader was given to the males, but they were also considered the logical and strong enforcer for the society. Men tend to have a higher social position over the women. However the women are required to be the male supporter. The queen did have a higher position but she also required to follow the king’s command. The females in the play had to stick to the basic gender norms. The feminine roles that were placed upon the female characters were that they had to be a nurturing mother figure. The queen, Iocaste is shown as a figure of caring, making repeated attempts to advise Oedipus in ways that will assure his comfort and peace of mind. In the play, when Oedipus begins to doubt Creon and threatens to have Creon killed, Iocaste arrives on the scene and uses her nurturing mother figure to stop the argument. “Poor foolish men, what wicked din is this? With Thebes sick to death, is it not shameful that …show more content…
The novel The Scarlet Letter continues its attempt of defying the basic male dominance roles. Nathaniel Hawthorne makes an attempt in trying to make females superior but fails as his book is also focused around a patriarchal society. Although the female characters in the novel are portrayed as being more dominant they still fall below men in their status. Men in that era were held to the expectation to run and take charge of their lives. In the novel, Chillingworth is used as the embodiment of the era beliefs. He knows someone sinned with his wife, and he believes he should take charge of his life and seek his revenge. He is also well educated and respected, which, women like Hester were denied. "I will seek this man, as I have sought truth in books; as I have sought gold in alchemy. There is a sympathy that will make me conscious of him. I shall see him tremble. I shall feel myself shudder, suddenly unaware. Sooner or later, he must needs by mine" (Hawthorne 64). Basically, he is saying that if a man can disrespect another by taking and using their property, they should be prepared for revenge. This notion goes back to the ownership of females, where a man’s wife is considered his

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