Antigne Vs Susan B Anthony Essay Research

Antigne Vs. Susan B Anthony Essay, Research Paper Throughout the ages, many females have helped make changes that have helped benefit woman. Many have been looked up to as martyrs for taking a stand in what they

Antigne Vs. Susan B Anthony Essay, Research Paper

Throughout the ages, many females have helped make changes that have helped

benefit woman. Many have been looked up to as martyrs for taking a stand in what they

believe in. Susan B. Anthony and the character Antigone from the Greek tragedy, The

Oedipus Cycle by Sophocles both were two courageous woman. During their time, they

defied the idea of women and helped them step forth and fight for equality. These two

women lived in a male dominant society, filled with sexism.

Antigone is widely thought of as a tragic hero and martyr. She was a young

princess who faced many hardships in her life. She was cursed with being the daughter

of Oedipus, the king that fulfilled his oracle of killing his father and marrying his mother

and caused a plague on Thebes. She later defies King Creon of his cruel judgment

forbidding the burial of her brother Polynieces who attempt to gain the crown from his

brother Eteocles. Antigone fights for her belief that her brother deserves a burial and

preaches the God s law. Against the pleas of her weak sister Ismene and her fianc

Haimon she stands up to the government. She seems to fit the part in light of the fact

that she is executed for doing what she feels is right. According to Hathom, she Takes

into consideration death and the reality that may be beyond death. Antigone did not

fear the authority and believed in the law of the God s.

Susan B. Anthony was a liberal Quaker and dedicated basic activist. She

opposed the use of liquor and advocated the immediate end to slavery. During the

American Civil War, she founded the Women s Loyal League to fight for liberation of the

slaves. After the end of Reconstruction she protested the violence inflicted on blacks

and was one of the few to urge full participation of blacks in the suffrage movement.

In 1851, her work for women s rights began. She concentrated on reforming New

York State laws discriminating against women. Anthony organized women all over the

state to campaign for legal reforms.

Anthony became convinced that women would not gain their rights or be effective

in promoting reforms until they had the right to vote. Nationwide suffrage became their

goal after the Civil War. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the National

Woman Suffrage Association to work for a constitutional amendment giving the women

that right. Although the newly freed slaves were granted the vote by the 15th

Amendment women were left excluded. Anthony defiantly registered and cast a ballot in

the 1872 election and was arrested. After being tried and convicted of violating the laws

and again defied the government by refusing to pay the fine.

Anthony and Stanton published the History of Women Suffrage (Volume 4) to

help women understand that it was there time to rise up and get an equal opportunity.

Although she did not live to see her dream fulfilled, women were finally granted the right

to vote in the 19th Amendment and she is deeply owed for her efforts.

Though these two individuals may seem different, the actions they take are

similar. Both women lived in times were women could not succeed and were treated like

slaves. They defied the roles of women of their time and refused to listen to male

authority. Anthony and Antigone fought the government and were punished for their

actions and protests.

Antigone grew up in an ancient Greek society where women where treated like

slaves. During the time of the Classical Greeks women s issues was a devastating

problem. Females were not classified as citizens. They held no property and were not

allowed to leave their homes unless under guard. In the play, Antigone had to sneak out

of the house to meet up with Ismene to discuss her plan to bury her brother. Their status

was equivalent to Greek slaves, the only difference was in the name. According to the

people in ancient Greece the sole purpose of women were to cater to men. Many men

perceived women as being creatures that were created to produce children, please men

and fulfill their household duties. Men were scared of women gaining confidence to

speak out against the way they were treated and against men. In the play, Antigone

confronts Creon by burying Polynieces after he gave strict orders that no one should

bury him. When Creon found out it was Antigone that buried him, he never considered

the idea that a women would step out of her conventional role.

Sexism plays a large part in the play Antigone. It appears when Antigone and

Creon are discussing the issue of her burying, Polynieces. Creon states Who is the

man here,/She or I, if this crime goes unpunished? (II, 204) This statement shows

sexism because Creon feels his pride will be taken away by a woman if she goes

unpunished for defying Creon s word and the government. Creon makes remarks about

women in text showing that they are worth nothing. For they are but women (Ode II,

209) stated by Creon. As Creon and his son Haimon, converse about his marriage to

Antigone, he says And no woman shall seduce us. If we must lose,/ Let s lose to a

man, at least! Is a woman stronger than/ we? (III, 212) His belief that women are weak

and men are strong shows how men thought of women in ancient Greece.

Antigone was brave and an intellectual. She was not nearly as incapable and

weak as Greek culture believed women to be. She represented a high ideal of human

life- respect and courage according to Sophocles. Antigone was not the traditional

woman her sister, Ismene was. She did what was right. What she felt was moral and

she obeyed the Gods word. Antigone stood up to man and voiced her opinion which

was not expected or tolerated from women. A part of her was very strong minded and

she fought for what she believed in. In the opening scene Antigone talks to Ismene

about burying Polynieces and defying the word of Creon. This a powerful conversation

between the two sisters that shows the determination of Antigone that women of her

time did not have.

Antigone stood up to the government and male authority by burying her brother.

An important objective in ancient Greece was the belief that the government was to

have no control in the matters dealing with religious beliefs. In Antigone s eyes, Creon

betrayed the ideal by not allowing her to give Polynieces the proper burial. She felt that

the burial was a religious ceremony that Creon did not have the right to intervene with.

Antigone s firm beliefs led to her death by the hands of Creon. Never did she stop

fighting for what she believed in. As she was ordered to her death by Creon, she states,

You smile at me. Ah Creon,/ Think me a fool, if you like; but it may well be/ that a fool

convicts me of folly. (II. 203) She calls him a fool and belittles his pride. Antigone says,

I go, his prisoner, / Because I honored those things in which honor truly belongs.

Directly, she is humiliating Creon by calling his beliefs and decisions frail and

unjustifiable. Her belief is that he is abusing his power as king and punishing her only

for the fact that she is a woman.

In the 1800 s the time in which Susan B. Anthony lived society was basically the

same. Females were subservient to men. Throughout this time women were living in a

male dominant society never expecting to gain rights until one woman stepped forward

to help women gain rights and better the society they were living in.

At one time in American society, women were not permitted to own property,

were discouraged from seeking higher education and were forced to stay home and

have children and do household chores. Nothing more was expected of them but to

serve men and be housewives. Society slightly evolved in those times but not enough

for women to gain freedom.

World War II and the Industrial Revolution put women into the American

workforce for the first time in history. They were placed in what traditionally were male

dominated positions. For the first time women discovered that they could be financially

independent from males. Shortly after, the war ended and women were forced back into

the home into their traditional roles.

Sexism was evident in the days of Susan B. Anthony. Men and even slaves at

this time were given the right to vote. Yet women were looked upon as lower than

slaves and were only expected to have children and serve their husband. In a male

dominant society women needed to live with the sexist way of life because the women

were to afraid to step forth and revolt.

Anthony defied the traditional role of women. She was educated, independent,

and outspoken. Unlike most women of her day, she attended school until the age

fifteen. She than became a school teacher at a female boarding school until she was

thirty years old. After teaching for years, she began working with woman and children

who suffered from alcoholic husbands. Anthony joined many organizations protesting

violence, slavery and women s rights. At this time, Anthony became the first feminist.

She was brave, courageous, and fought for what she thought was right even if others

did not agree. Equality and the right to vote for women was what she wanted and no

one was going to stop her protests, not even the government.

Anthony challenged the government and registered to vote. In the 1872

presidential election, she casted a vote and was arrested. She was convicted of

breaking the law and refused to pay the fine. She retaliated against the government in

order to get what she wanted as did Antigone. Anthony was jailed many times for

defying the government but she paid the consequences. Spending many nights in jail

and paying many fines. Yet her punishment was not as severe as Antigone s, she did

succeed in getting what she wanted. Although she died before the 19th Amendment

was adopted, people all around the world know that it was her hard work, dedication and

free will that brought it about.

As a result from my research you can see that even though Antigone and Susan

B. Anthony were born in two different times they both share similarities. Through their

defiance, bravery and beliefs women have gained better opportunities today. Though

men and women are still not equal, these two women s actions have brought women

along way from where we once were. This proves my thesis that both women were

feminist, martyrs to females who were afraid to speak up for what they themselves

believed in fear of being persecuted by men and the government