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Greek Theatre "Despite the Suppression of Women Throughout the Plays They Are Still the Stronger Sex."

  • Date Submitted: 10/06/2012 10:19 AM
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"Despite the suppression of women throughout the plays they are still the stronger sex."

In this essay I will discuss how even though women are treated as if they are second class citizens and are not given the right to free speech, they are still the stronger sex over men. I have based my essay on the plays Iphigenia at Aulis by Euripides and Agamemnon the first play of The Oresteia by Aeschylus.
“If you want the excellence of a man, it’s easy— the excellence of a man is to be capable of taking part in the affairs of the polis, and in doing so to help his friends and harm his enemies, and watch out that he does not suffer anything of that kind himself. But if you want the excellence of a woman, it’s not difficult to say: she should manage the household well, preserving its contents and being obedient to her husband. (Meno 10e)”
The women in these plays go against the norm of women of the time, as they break the rules, by leaving their homes, speaking and standing up for what they believe in and challenge the patriarchal society.

Iphigenia at Aulis
From the very beginning of Iphigenia at Aulis we see the weakness of men in comparison to women. The Trojan War is mainly caused by Helen going to Troy with Paris and leaving her husband Menelaus.
“He lusted after Helen, she after him.
Since Menelaus was away, he snatched her up,
went back to the cowbarns of his native land.
Stung by his lot,
Menelaus gallops around Greece, reminding everyone of
Tyndareos’ ancient oath:
“now is the time for all good men
to come to the aid of the wronged!”
The power of women is shown clearly when Artemis the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and young girls, punishes Agamemnon for killing a stag in a sacred grove and boasting that he was a better hunter than the goddess, by preventing the winds from blowing when the Greek army were preparing to depart Aulis for Troy to retrieve Helen and thus beginning the Trojan War....


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