Theme Of Women In The Epic Of Gilgamesh And Antigone

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Upon reading The Epic of Gilgamesh and Antigone by Sophocles were able to draw a connection in the way both of these pieces view women in society. Both pieces show, women were once seen as frail beings that should stay in their places and be brought out just to please men. Fortunately, we as a society have come far in terms of women being viewed as more equal to men than in the late B.C. times but that does not mean women are finished gaining the same rights that men have.

During The Epic of Gilgamesh , we can see that the place of women in society is seen as less than men 's but not completely viewed as a nonentity in ancient Mesopotamia. The civilization sees women 's place as just the bearers of life: we see that with the prostitute
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It 's starts off with the shepherds complaining to Gilgamesh of a wild man releasing the animals they have set traps for, Gilgamesh then responds that they will need the help of the temple prostitute to help tame the beast in Enkidu (Anonymous, 5). Of course the readers wonder at this point how Gilgamesh knows this method will work, but after several nights with Shamhat, Enkidu is transformed into a civilized man who is shunned by the animals. So when Enkidu curses Shamhat in tablet 7 the readers seem to understand because of the fact that in Enkidus eyes if it wasn 't for the prostitute he would not be facing death for the actions him and his best friend Gilgamesh have done. His curse starts with “In the young women 's chamber you shall not sit! Your finest garment the ground shall defile! Your festive gown the drunkard shall stain in the dirt! Things of beauty you shall never acquire!” (Anonymous, 58). Of course he then corrects his tone to apologize and wish nothing but love upon her “Come Shamhat I will fix your destiny! My mouth that has cursed you shall bless you as well! Governors shall love you and noblemen too! No soldier shall be …show more content…
It is very important that Antigone is a woman in the play because of the risks she is taking. Case in point, she is standing up for what 's right against her uncle who is ruling over Thebes and her sister is warning her that against men a woman cannot win. However, we can see that Antigone actually impacted Creons’ life because after her untimely death, she took a piece of his family as well by having Haimon commit suicide, which then caused Eurydice to cut herself and left without a child and wife: “She drove the blade below her liver, so she could suffer the same wound that killed Haimon, for whom she mourns” (Sophocles, 85). Her being a woman also affected the way the King handled her crime. For instance, Creon doesn’t want to look soft as if he were a woman 's slave; but, he also knows it 's not right to hold her in a cage by herself so there is a double standard as to how to punish her the right way. In the play, Antigone is viewed as very weak and at times very replaceable. For example, when speaking to Ismene she explained how afraid she was for Antigone and how it 's not a winning battle (Sophocles, 16). For Creon, he views her as less than himself for when he said Haimon is a woman slave for the way he cares of Antigone: “Look at yourself! A woman overpowers you” (Sophocles, 53). But very replaceable in the sense that Haimon

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