The Wise Woman Within

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Date Submitted: 09/22/2011 12:28 PM

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Humanities and Writing 009

1 August 2011

The Wise Woman Within

Complete masculinity is related to stupidity. In ancient Greece, social superiority was an enormous part of real-life. This dominance occurred in numerous ways; the most obvious being of males over females, thus making the idea that masculinity prevails over femininity simply the norm. Males, then, were expected to follow the ideal form of masculinity: a completely masculinized one. Contrary to the antique custom, however, male feminization, as a form of injured masculinity – rather than complete masculinization – is equivalent to greater wisdom. Sophocles, in his work Antigone, evaluates this idea by contrasting two main characters: King Creon and his son Haimon, where Haimon represents a wiser, feminized, broken masculinity and Creon stands for unwise, utter masculinity. He does so by comparing femininity and masculinity, by differentiating the personas in terms of syntax, as well as through presenting their methods of personal rationalization. Ultimately, the piece demonstrates that breaking tradition may be a modus to achieving superior wisdom.

Haimon is characterized by the Choragos as “sensitive” – a usually feminine characteristic. In his father’s words he is a “boy” who has “sold out to a woman” – something that a traditional man at the time would have never done. Haimon, therefore, may be perceived as a male with a fractured and feminized sense of masculinity. Creon is the king; therefore, is the ideal image of what a male should be. He transpires pure and true masculinity. For the remainder of this paper, Haimon will characterize a feminized form masculinity while Creon will represent a completely masculinized form of masculinity.

Femininity and masculinity are distinguished in the text by means of structure. Literarily, poetry is considered to be a more advanced form of writing than prose; prose, then, is an inferior method. Occasionally, Creon’s speeches are set up in the form of...