Blundell’s thesis was on how men and women thought of their social roles while watching these plays. The women sitting in the audience were interpreting things very differently from the men. What someone says and what people hear are two completely different things.
Ismene said, “[r]emember we are women, we’re not born to contend with men… we’re underlings, ruled by much stronger hands…” (Sophocles, 74-76). Women in the audience were probably not amused with Ismene’s words. Women have after all been ruling the household and influencing their husbands for thousands of years. Men know that a happy wife means a happy life, they would go along with what their wife wants in the end. Women were probably laughing, on the inside of course (you have to let them think they’re in charge after all to protect their manly pride), knowing who really ran the show. While the women were hearing this the men were hearing something completely different. The men in the audience were probably enjoying this, what with their manly ego’s being stroked and all. ‘Yes, we are in charge,’ men would think, as their wives leaned over patting their hands saying ‘of course, honey.’
After Antigone was apprehended Creon said, “I am not the man, not now: she is the man if this victory goes to her and she goes free” (Sophocles, 541-542). Creon meant that it would be a blow to his pride to let a woman best him in his own playing field. The men thought highly of themselves in this time period; they thought that women could not think like they could. Interpretation is everything and that is what Blundell is trying to tell us. That women have different ideas about their social roles than men.