Concepts of Male and Female in the West This paper examines concepts of male and female in the West as they have emerged over time. One work will be looked at primarily: Euripides’ The Bacchantes – though other sources will be used, as well. The objective of this paper is to explore the concept of female inferiority and to see how this notion appears in Euripides’ The Bacchantes. In the play, women are portrayed (at least by Pentheus) as being incontinent and scarcely better than savages; they lack not only the sexual organs of men but also the control and self-discipline that men are alleged to possess. This actually ties in with Aristotle’s belief that men embody a higher grade of human being whilst women embody human imperfection: women...The end:
.....for rational thought. Euripides’ Pentheus is a stand-in for chauvinistic assumptions about women, but his attitudes really channel the attitudes of Aristotle and other thinkers. When all is said and done, the play is a classic example of how socio-cultural context shapes literary production in any era. Works Cited Aristotle. “The Differences Between Men and Women (De Generatione Animalium).” Ed. Rosemary Agonito. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1977. 43-54. Euripides. “The Bacchantes.” The Internet Classics Archive. N.d. 22 Sept. 2009 http://classics.mit.edu/Euripides/bacchan.html Merchant, Carolyn. “Dominion Over Nature.” Death of Nature: Women, Ecology and the Scientific Revolution. San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1982. 164-191.