A Dolls House and the story Antigone

“ I do non wish them to hold power over work forces, but over themselves. ” ~ Mary Wollstonecraft

Ibsen ‘s “ A Doll ‘s House ” and Sophocles ‘ “ Antigone ” are written in two vastly clip periods but both focal point on the function of adult females in their several epochs. It is observed that the built-in strength of the adult females supporters in both the dramas is related and parallel, irrespective of the age they have been written.

Henrik Ibsen was a major 19th-century Norse dramatist, theatre manager, and poet. He is frequently referred to as the “ male parent of modern play ” and is one of the laminitiss of modernism in the field of theater. His dramas are thought to be dismaying and frequently immoral to many of his epoch because Victorian values of household life were really different to his thoughts. Norse dramatist, Ibsen ‘s, “ A Doll ‘s House ” is a contemptuous unfavorable judgment of traditional and conventional functions of work forces and adult females in Victorian matrimony. The drama centres around the functions of a adult female: a female parent and a married woman. As the secret plan of the drama builds up, the emancipation of adult females is recognized and brought out to the audience peculiarly through the undermentioned duologue, “ Listen, Torvald. I have heard that when a married woman deserts her hubby ‘s house, as I am making now, he is lawfully freed from all duties toward her. In any instance I set you free from all your duties. You are non to experience yourself bound in the slightest manner, any more than I shall. ” 1 ( Act iii ) . Similarly, in ancient Greece many dramatists used fabulous narratives to opine on societal and political issues of their clip. This is what Sophocles intended to make when he wrote Antigone. Grecian dramatist Sophocles wrote this drama as his last piece in the Theban Trilogy around 442 B.C. Antigone, girl of Oedipus, the former male monarch of Thebes, battles for entombment of her brother Polyneices against the edict of her uncle, Creon, the new male monarch of Thebe, “ will you impart your custodies to mine, to raise the organic structure? “ 2 ( 38 ) . It is a secret plan that revolves around the “ unwritten jurisprudence ” of the Gods against the Torahs of world, household relationships against province Torahs, and more notably adult male against adult female.

As the two dramatists have portrayed the true function of a adult female in their single dramas during their several aeon, it is really of import to observe the societal background of both Greece and Norway. In the eighteenth century adult females were the ‘creative beginning of human life ‘ , as said by many critics. They were considered of course weaker than work forces, both mentally and physically. Wifehood and maternity were viewed as adult females ‘s most important support in Norway. They were forbidden to set themselves into any other function of their pick. Besides, formal instruction was ne’er the concern for misss, nevertheless, they must larn to cook, clean and attention for kids. Likewise, adult females did n’t hold any right to vote, function on juries or ain belongings in Greece. They ever forced to hold a guardian beyond themselves. The defender of a adult female before marriage- her male parent ; and after the

marriage- her hubby. Adding to that, their chief responsibility was to give sexual satisfaction and be a perfect puppet in the societal assemblages. Their intervention was similar to that of slaves, merely difference was in the manner they were addressed.

Therefore, to demo the audiences the general attitude, atmosphere and temper created for adult females within households, Sophocles and Ibsen develop the plot line of their dramas around the socio- political scenario taking into history the close knit relationships within the Helmers and the household of the male monarch of Thebes.

Harmonizing to critics, Ibsen ‘s A Doll ‘s House examines assorted societal issues of the society. Critic, Gail Finney explains that in A Doll ‘s House, “ Ibsen is truly reasoning for societal justness. “ 3 In support of that New York Times subscriber Walter Goodman declared that A Doll ‘s House is “ a great papers of feminism ” 4 as Ibsen ‘s concerns about the place of adult females in society are brought to life in the drama. He believed that adult females had a right to develop their ain individualism, but in world, their function was frequently self-sacrificial.

Nora, the chief character of the drama, lives in a dream universe, a kid phantasy, where everything is perfect, and everything seems to look like a pretty image, “ If that were to go on, I do n’t say I should care whether I owed money or non. “ 5 ( Act I ) Her character is pampered by her ain dominant hubby as she is called by several names, “ Alauda arvensis ” , “ spend-all ” , and “ squirrel ” 6. Yet, towards the terminal of the drama she decides to step out of the psychotic belief and look beyond her household. Her first measure towards it was by doing a determination to go forth her hubby, her place and her kids in order to happen herself. Nora ‘s last words are hopeful, yet her concluding action is less optimistic, “ Both you and I have to be so changed… I do n’t believe any longer in fantastic things go oning. ” 7 ( Act iii ) Merely as she slams the door it symbolizes the conclusiveness of their relationship.

Nora leaves the function of the doll like married woman which she played her whole life, and wants to go an independent self-assured grownup. Many critics merely did non accept the thought that a submissive adult female of the first two Acts of the Apostless could expose so much strength in the 3rd act. The audience merely can non visualise a adult female exposing the sort of behaviour demonstrated by Nora as it was beyond their comprehension that a adult female would voluntarily take to give her kids in order to seek her ain individuality. On the other manus, reputed critic Finney claims that “ Nora is an icon of adult females ‘s release. “ 8 Besides, he thought nineteenth century women’s rightists praised Ibsen ‘s work and “ saw it as a warning of what would go on when adult females in general woke up to the unfairnesss that had been committed against them ” .9 Adding to that position, the character of Nora, from Ibsen ‘s point of position, shows and portions with the audiences that a adult female lacks the cognition that a adult male has about the universe outside.

Overall, Ibsen has shown a journey of an ordinary adult female in Norway who is eligible to take attention of her place, kids and hubby. Though, there is a batch more undiscovered in her life. Thus, for Nora the battle begins after she abandons her household and relationships of place.

On the other manus, Sophocles ‘ characters are complex in footings of their emotions yet simplistic in footings of their moral codification of demeanour. De Romilly, a critic, says that “ Sophocles ‘ characters have different outlooks because each embodies a different moral ideal, to which he or she adheres. “ 10 Hence, the character of Antigone in Sophocles ‘ drama is really of import as she appears as a immature miss who rises up entirely against province power and leads the calamity. Her sister Ismene describes Antigone as “ You seem so dark and inexorable ” 11 ( 25 ) . Likewise, in looking at the first few exchanges between Ismene and Antigone in the drama, it is greatly evident that there are plentifulness of social issues environing adult females from ancient Greece, “ We must retrieve that we were born adult females, non to contend against work forces. “ 12 ( 54- 55 ) Furthermore, to stress on the societal issues a point of position suggests that Creon is the supporter and Antigone the adversary. This is because it was non suited for a adult female to hold a prima function in a drama. It is besides deserving observing that there is a similarity between the name of the heroine Antigone and the term adversary. This gives the audience the feeling that Antigone has been fated to be the adversary and to decease for it in a tragic mode.

Further, when Antigone was led off to be buried alive she makes a statement which many critics have felt is a contradiction to her character, “ If I were a female parent, and my kids were decomposing in deathaˆ¦taken on this undertaking against the metropolis ‘s will. “ 13 ( 871-874 ) . This duologue makes her appear less baronial than she is in the gap scene. Different to A Doll ‘s House, Sophocles enhances Antigone ‘s daring and bravery from the gap of the drama. Her character has been consistent and steady. She stood by her base all the clip and could bare all the effects of the act. The author has deliberately shown Antigone as a gallant and a audacious character. He intends to portray that adult females have been caged and need to talk out their sentiments in the society. This drama has become the agencies of communicating between the dramatist the audience. The first message conveyed is whenever a adult female performs an act which is against the wish and will of a adult male the adult female is penalized and could be placed off from the society, as seen in the drama with Antigone. Antigone stands as a function theoretical account to all of them. Her features express that a adult female has her point of position and she should set across to the society, whether it be right or incorrect.

To reason, it is noticed that the built-in strength of a adult female ‘s nature has non changed sing the periods the dramas have been written in. The audience feels that the function and the intervention given to a adult female presented in both the epochs had become a norm and accustomed by everybody in the society. Cipher of all time tried to alter it or protest against it until we experienced such dramatists conveying a strong impacting message through their several dramas. The audience observes that as the purposes of the dramatists, Ibsen and Sophocles are similar ; the subject environing the two female supporters is kindred. Further, the characters hold the similar built-in strength because, as mentioned earlier, it was the manner everybody looked at the gender. They were known to be inferior to work forces and it continued till tardily nineteenth century until the economic systems of Europe did non necessitate adult females in the work force.

Word count: 1,648