Gender Inequality In Oedipus Rex

Superior Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    “A Room of One’s Own” Analysis The feminist theory stemmed from instances of widespread gender discrimination, perpetrated by the highly patriarchal society of earlier times. Gender activism emerged to battle for the rights of women, who appeared sidelined in holding societal positions and political positions. The positions were predominantly held by men. Women held weaker positions in the society. Even in those weaker positions, their representation was still minimal as compared to the men who held similar positions.…

    • 1143 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    On face value, the main conflict is between a man and a woman, but to me, the most significant conflict is the clash in societal gender roles. A woman, especially in that society, has been habituated to feel subservient to any man and that their main role is to take care of men and a man in that society has been trained to feel dominant and superior when compared to a woman. It is due to these gender roles that the story’s main conflict comes into play in such that if society didn’t deem that a woman’s job was to take care of the man in life and death, then it would not be Antigone’s sole responsibility to bury her brother and in turn, disobey Creon’s orders. Similarly, if society didn’t train men to think that they are superior to woman, Creon could have listened and understood Antigone’s point of view and reasoning and in turn have avoided the great tragedy at the end. My opinion is that because society has beaten…

    • 1056 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    A common misconception in our society is that people assume feminists believe women are superior to men. Feminism means gender equality, both in social and economic concerns. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby, the main female characters presented in the book are all oppressed in their own ways. Daisy Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson are two main characters that are oppressed by society and the patriarchy that became the norm. With Daisy’s appearance and weakness representing the stereotypically feminine figure, she conforms to society to keep herself safe and keep her pure image.…

    • 1246 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Such sexism stems from the desire for a hierarchy in which men are dominant to women and from a resentment of women who try to gain power relative to men.” Throughout these works of literature, it is clear that the women held under the stereotypical gender roles are not able to express their individuality, and the women who do not follow these roles are looked down on and penalized. The short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Molly Giles, describes the typical gender role of a submissive, childlike obedience, of women to male authority figures. Gilman uses the conventions of a…

    • 2000 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Imagine a society in which it is acceptable for men to treat women as their inferior. The way that women were treated as inferiors in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe helps the reader to understand Ibo society and men’s accepted superiority within the society. In Things Fall Apart, women’s role in Ibo society is crucial to the society, understanding it and grasping the men’s behavior as the superior sex. The preconceived idea that women are weak, the women’s responsibilities and the women being treated as objects will help the reader to make sense of the gender complications within this novel. In order to understand the male supremacy in this book, the reader must first understand that women in the Ibo society were predetermined as the inferior sex.…

    • 1249 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The story of “The Cask of Amontillado” shows indirect factors such as certain description of background, dialogic method, and human psychology. In sum, the story is all about a narrator is insulted by Fortunato, and then the narrator vows revenge. Through the plot, the readers can be able to see there is a dark side of humanity inside the narrator’s mind. Furthermore, the narrator exposes his thoughts through the conversational method so that readers can be more comfortable with the story. Thus, those certain elements illuminate the story clearly.…

    • 942 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Neoclassicism In Tartuffe

    • 857 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The Neoclassical Period greatly emphasized on reason and well-defined codes of behavior in society. Moliere challenges the philosophies and prevailing ideologies of this period through two female characters in the play of Tartuffe as he demonstrates that they are the voice of reason, with well-developed and exposed personalities that question the well-defined codes of behavior. One of the females in Tartuffe is Elmire. During this time, wives were to be submissive to the male figure and that was the established code of behavior. Their social identity had no real worth because women always depended on their husbands for provision, social acceptance, and their future.…

    • 857 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Factors such as traditional values, lack of access to technology, lack of resources, and rigid gender roles affect women’s social standing in different ways. Gender has great control of how society functions, with the patriarchy controlling how men and women think they should behave. Through socialization, throughout our lives, rigid gender roles are pushed on to us and definitions of what it means to be masculine and feminine are ingrained into our brains. Our society defines men as being dominant, strong and powerful and defines women as being weak,…

    • 746 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Masculine Mannerisms Gender roles have ruled society and normalities for both women and men for centuries. Men are expected to be dominant and willing to be violent, while women are supposed to be submissive and innocent. The expectations for both are very different, and straying from the norm has always seemed bizarre. Literature has become a way to stress the importance that gender roles have on society, as well as a way to show the alternation of characteristics between women and men. In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, the stark difference between womanly and manly qualities is an important theme.…

    • 1152 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In terms of women’s rights, male privilege, women’s ideals, and gender roles, Victorian society was a patriarchal society. A patriarchal society was described as a society where men have control over women in all aspects. The Victorian culture was patriarchal because women were objectified and treated as a weaker gender. As presented in Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession, women are objectified and must adhere to the ideals of men. Shaw draws out Kitty and Vivie Warren, mother and daughter, and depicts them as two women who act against these ideals.…

    • 1031 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics