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(power relations) in Greco-Roman myth - Essay Example

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Although the ancient Greeks worshipped a large pantheon of gods, they still had many deep religious convictions and values that are reflected in the values we still hold today. These include ideas such as honor and loyalty to family and loved ones as well as ideas regarding…
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Download file to see previous pages This is again reflective of issues we continue to deal with today. By analyzing these issues within the plays of the ancients, such as the power struggle women fought against the exercise of power men had over them, it may be possible to learn something about how we deal with these issues now.
One shining example of this exploration into power struggles can be found in Sophocles’ play Antigone. This play tells the story of one of Oedipus’ daughters, Antigone. It opens just after her two brothers have killed each other in a battle to see who would be king of Thebes, one having held the throne for the past year and the other marching on the city to enforce an earlier agreement regarding who will rule Thebes for the following year. While one brother is given a lavish and honorable burial, the other is ordered to be left rotting in the sun under punishment of law. Even though both brothers had reasonable claims, King Creon only acknowledges the letter of the law in the case, foreshadowing the trouble to come. Antigone, however, feels both brothers were wrong and both should be given the god-ordered rites of burial. Completely defying the law as set forth by Creon, and thus rejecting the power he is supposed to have over her, Antigone chooses to act instead in keeping with her deep-seated and widely accepted religious beliefs that dictate all bodies should be buried.
The trouble with trying to determine which character, Creon or Antigone, should have the right of power is made difficult by the very real and present flaws found within Antigone herself. She enters the first scene already raging regarding Creon’s decree and his nerve in believing he has any power over her. She is seen as bold, rash and passionately incapable of tempering her behavior, thus reinforcing the then-prevailing belief that women needed the steady guidance of men to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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