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The Role of Women in Oedipus the King and the Epic of Gilgamesh - Essay Example

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The essay "The Role of Women in Oedipus the King and the Epic of Gilgamesh "stands as a social discourse and throw light on myriad socioeconomic facets of two rich ancient civilizations of the world. The contrast of the gender roles give a comparative analysis of two great societies…
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The Role of Women in Oedipus the King and the Epic of Gilgamesh
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Download file to see previous pages To determine the role of women in Oedipus the King or precisely in Athenian society, the speech of Pericles should be taken into consideration. In it, he considered women’s character as weak and vulnerable. He did not view women more than a means of yielding children and bringing them up to join the army. He also put forwarded the view that the women who are less heard or seen or talked about in the society are looked upon with more glory or dignity, “Great will be your glory in not falling short of your natural character; and greatest will be hers who is least talked of among the men, whether for good or for bad”.
The women characters in the Oedipus the King are conceived on a parameter of womanhood set by Pericles for Athenian women. In Oedipus the King, there are mainly three women characters and the most prominent among them is Jocasta, Oedipus’ mother and wife and Antigone and Ismene, Oedipus and Jocasta’s daughters. These women characters fit into the scheme of the ideal of Athenian womanhood set by Pericles. These two girls neither speak nor are seen till the end of the play. But very contrastingly, Jocasta the poignant character of the play does not conform to the ideal of Athenian womanhood set by Pericles. Firstly, she is visible from the beginning of the play and speaks up many times. Her role can be viewed as a mediator. She is also presented with enough importance as a fight is shown ensuing between Oedipus and Jocasta’s brother Creon because of her....
reat will be your glory in not falling short of your natural character; and greatest will be hers who is least talked of among the men, whether for good or for bad” (Thucydides, “History of the Peloponnesian War”). The women characters in the Oedipus the King are conceived on a parameter of womanhood set by Pericles for Athenian women. In Oedipus the King, there are mainly three women characters and the most prominent among them is Jocasta, Oedipus’ mother and wife and Antigone and Ismene, Oedipus and Jocasta’s daughters. These women characters fit into the scheme of the ideal of Athenian womanhood set by Pericles. These two girls neither speak nor are seen till the end of the play. But very contrastingly, Jocasta the poignant character of the play does not conform into the ideal of Athenian womanhood set by Pericles. Firstly, she is visible from the beginning of the play and speaks up many times. Her role can be viewed as a mediator. She is also presented with enough importance as a fight is shown ensuing between Oedipus and Jocasta’s brother Creon because of her. She is also seen giving her view in myriad issues and is provided prime importance by her brother and husband both, when Oedipus declares that in Thebes, all the three including Jocasta have the same power, position and prestige. In this play, Jocasta is projected at par with the other male characters of the play in terms of power and position and in no way she is undermined. In the Epic of the Gilgamesh, the gender plays a pivotal role. Though the central character of the epic are males like Gilgamesh and Enkidu and are considered as most powerful and most wise humans and Gods, the women in the play subsequently have the power to influence these men. Like the play, Oedipus the King, women ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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