Antigone Context


Attitudes to women

  • Women had very few rights in comparison to men- they could not vote, own land or inherit.
  • Their place was in the home with the purpose of taking care of the their families
  • These were the rules for higher class women, but it was far less documented for working women- this could mean anything from woeking in shops to prostitutes
  • Female babies were far more likely to be abandoned
  • Young girls were not expected to be well educated, but instead proffiencent in music and dance for entertaining
  • Despite women's position in society, they were well represented and worshiped amongst the Gods
  • They were not allowed in theatres or on stage, so played the female characters
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Worship of the Gods

  • There were twelve principal deities in the Greek pantheon, with the most relevant to Antigone being Dionysus, the god of grape-harvest, winemaking and wine, of fertility, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and theatre.
  • There were temples built to worship each god individually
  • They believed the the gods would visit these temples and hear their prayers
  • People would bring offerings, usually food, to the temples when they prayed
  • The people would hold festivals to honour each god, which usually involved a parade and a scarifice, followed by a feast
  • The Olympics began in Ancient Greece to honour the gods
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