history paper - History 121-002 Paper#1 The two plays...

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History 121-002 Paper #1 The two plays, Lysistrata and Medea stand out as great illustrators of the treatment of women in Ancient Greece and, in particular, Athens. Both plays show the limited freedom and options available to Greek women. They exemplify the desperation and frustration of women trapped in a society over which they had no control. In a society controlled by men, women were forced to resort to unconventional solutions to address their problems. Sometimes these solutions were tragic, at other times they were comical. Ancient Greece was a patriarchal society, with women only one small step above slaves 1 . Women and men lived within very defined boundaries controlled by the men, with the home as the primary boundary. Women were viewed as inferior beings with their main use being childbirth 2 . They had virtually no political rights of any kind and were controlled by men at nearly every stage of their lives. A wife's duty was to bear legitimate children- boys, and to manage the household. They were confined to their homes and were expected to stay out of sight if the husband invited guests 3 . There were some cults to which women might belong and it was possible to socialize on occasion with other women. But beyond that women were expected to remain invisible at home and do what they were told 4 . If women did leave their house they would have to be accommodated by a male, as a woman seen outside on her own was assumed to be a slave, prostitute, or a woman so poor that she had to work 5 . Women during a marriage were 1 Jennifer Taylor, “Ancient Greek Civilizations”, The Women of Athens found at: , Accessed February 9, 2008. 2 FactsMonk.com, Role of Women in Ancient Greece found at: , Accessed February 10, 2008. 3 James C. Thompson, “Women In The Ancient World”, Women In Athens found at: , Accessed February 9, 2008 4 Women In Athens . 5 Women In Athens .
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mainly in charge of the children and of the household. They would raise their children, take care of them, and teach them everything that they have learned themselves. In addition, the woman
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