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Gender Issues in Antigone
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One of the most devastating problems for the Classical Greeks was the women"s issue. Women in Classical Greece were not citizens, held no property, and indeed were not even allowed out of the house except under guard. Their status differed from that of the slaves of Greece only in name. This alone, however was not a problem -- the problem was that the Greeks knew, in their hearts, that this was wrong. Indeed, their playwrights harangued them about it from the stage of Athens continually. All of the great Grecian playwrights -- Sophocles, Euripedes, Aristophenes -- dealt with the women"s...
for the movement which followed the production of the play, in which the Athenian women were liberated from their near-slave status, Athens would most probably have lost the war with Sparta. Only the newly liberated women of Athens, bedecked with citizen status, womanning the walls of Athens, kept the Spartans out, in the last battle of the war, in a stirring reproduction of the end scene of Antigone, this time with live, rather than dead, defenders. The play provides us with a useful example of the importance of literature to society, and an important message for our own time.
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