Compare and contrast the female roles in the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides

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Last updated: February 11, 2019

On the one hand, in terms of their similarities, their intention and doings are heart-shocking and obviously against the values of patriarchal societies or national laws. Having an adulterine relationship with Aegisthus, Clytemnestra slays Agamemnon, her husband and the King of Mycenae. Insist on the sacred laws, Antigone defies the mandate of Creon, the Theban regent, that no one can bury the traitor Polynieces. Also, regarded as a hateful bane, Medea’s vengeance on Jason, her husband, can be seen as a challenge toward the superiority of patriarchal societies.

On the other hand, their own individual femininities drive them to act, leading them to different results. Out of maternity, Clytemnestra murders her husband for the death of their poor daughter Iphigenia, but ironically her retribution is being killed by her son Orestes. Out of loyalty to her family based on blood relationship, after acknowledging her act, Antigone is punished to be buried alive. However, out of the pleasant sense of retaliation, Medea successfully plotting to kill the Corinthian princess and her two sons, a golden chariot driven by dragons should appear to take her away.In sum, these three female roles have their personal features which are always discussable for us. They use disparate ways to oppose the human laws or the concept of patriarchal societies.

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Clytemnestra’s deeds are retributive and unacceptable to the Mycenaeans. Antigone’s determination to bury Polynices arising from a desire to honor her family is worth acclaiming, but her eventuality is lamentable due to her defiance of man-made laws. Although Medea’s revenge is for herself as a women treated wrongly, her doings are cruel and extreme.

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