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In this paper I will demonstrate why I believe contrary to widespread opinion and possible even his own that Aristophanes not Euripides was of the four major dramatists fo Athens Golden Age the one who least respected women Having become aware at the ouset of this leterrature course of the position of women in the otherwise enlightened thought of Greece in the Fifth Century BC I kept my eyes open during our reading for evidences of if I may comit an anchronism chauvinism in the plays of Aeschylus Sophocles and Euripides Consoled by the knoledge presented in the text that Aristophanes had accused Euripides of hating women I didnt look for it in Lysistrata Nevertheless that is where I found it In interpreting attitudes toward women in the dramas I accepts certain prevailing tradtions as given and tried to give the playwrights the benefit of the doubt turning my head at such practices as using only male actors in the plays and leaving the women in the kitchen while attending the plays Having concedes those points I set about listening to the playwrights In Agamemnon Aeschylus addresses some remarks toward his Clytaemnestra which could possibly be interpreted as disparaging She is said to maneuver like a man and Cassandra exclaims What outrage--the woman kills the man The chorus asks her What drove her insane enough to kill a man Her lover Aegisthus although he gloats over the body he cringed from cutting down allows that the treachery was the womans work clearly Far from denigrating women however I believe these parrotings of the prevailing attitudes when juxtaposed with Aeschylus portrayal of an intelligent capable Clytaemnestra a gullible ususpecting Agamemnon and a spineless parasitical Aegisthus achieve the result of satirizing those attitudes At the close of the play Clytaemnestra challenges her listeners on-stage and off That is what a woman has to say Can
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