Antigone and the Characterization of Women Essay

795 Words 4 Pages
Throughout history, women have always stood in the shadows of men. In many cultures, the role of a woman was to be seen and not heard. One of the first "heard" females was as I believe Antigone, of Sophocles’. Antigone, was the descendant of Oedipus. When her brothers Eteocles and Polynices killed one another, Creon, king of Thebes, forbade the rebel Polynices’ burial. However, Antigone disobeyed him, performed the burial, and was condemned to death for what she had done. Thru her actions she displayed vast uniqueness of a great female leader. In doing this, she stepped out of her place as a woman in a male dominated culture.

She believed that the law of the Gods to give a proper burial to every dead body was more important, than
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Antigone gave these powers back to the gods.

Not only is Antigone courageous and highly motivated by her morals by standing up for her political and religious beliefs, she also protects her personal ones when she buries her brother. Antigone places family above her own life, and she refuses to let a man stand in her way of maintaining her ideals. She buries Polynices out of her own loyalty to her brother even after her sister, Ismene, refuses. Antigone is cruel to her for not taking part in illegally burying their brother. Instead of being caring and considerate, she becomes irate and at the end of their conversation says, "Go away Ismene: I shall be hating you soon, and the dead will too, for your hateful words," Antigone's flaw was her headstrong behavior and her stubbornness, which ultimately brought about her downfall and the downfall of those around her. Her persistence of course, is what forces Antigone to rashly take matters in to her own hands. Creon then decides to take Antigone's life "Away with her at once, and close her up in her rock-vaulted tomb. Leave her and let her die". To everyone's surprise Antigone does not run from her death sentence suggesting a great trait of braveness, which the chorus recognizes before her exodus from life. The notion that a person has no say in the affairs of their loved ones and the fact that those laws were defied deserves