The Role of Athenian Women Persuasive Essay by Shaad

The Role of Athenian Women
A refutation of the argument that Athenian society did not value women.
# 116404 | 1,253 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2008 | BD

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The paper argues that the roles of men and women in ancient Athens were stringently separated, but that women were not dishonored in the process. The paper describes how, while women were expected not to interfere in the sphere of men, they were honored and respected for their roles. The paper provides evidence for this thesis from "Antigone" by Sophocles and the speech "On the Killing of Eratosthenes" by Lysias.

From the Paper:

"There is no evidence that Athenian women craved the sort of emancipation as enjoyed by her modern counterpart. Antigone, the heroine of Sophocles' play, is a strong willed woman who oversteps propriety and challenges a king. She is the daughter of the ousted and deceased king Oedipus, whose two sons have just died in battle against the new claimant to the throne, Creon. He then refuses to give a proper burial to Polynices, the elder brother, whose corpse lies on the battlefield being torn by dogs. This breaks the heart of Antigone, and she resolves to violate the king's decree and bury her brother, slipping into the battlefield in the dead of night. She is caught in the act and brought before Creon. She will not repent, and so is sentenced to death. There is nothing in the play to indicate that Antigone is making a statement on behalf of womankind. Hers is a purely moral stance, and the men who advocate on her behalf, Haemon, her lover, and Tiresias, the wise old man, make this clear."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes. Nine Greek Dramas. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2004.
  • Just, Roger. Women in Athenian Law and Life. London: Routledge, 1989.
  • Lysias. Lysias. Translated by S. C. Todd. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000.
  • Robinson, Eric W. Ancient Greek Democracy: Readings and Sources. New York: Blackwell Publishing, 2003.
  • Zinserling, Verena. Women in Greece and Rome. New York: Abner Schram, 1972.

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

The Role of Athenian Women (2009, September 23) Retrieved December 04, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Role of Athenian Women" 23 September 2009. Web. 04 December. 2023. <>