One of the major conflicts in the “Antigone” is the struggle between the males and the females. It is explicit that the two genders are involved in deliberate efforts for dominance. In addition, it is evident that the perception that men were meant to dominate the women is paramount. For example, Ismene tells Antigone that even from birth the females "were not born to contend with men" (75), which depicts the women 's subordinate positions in their interactions with the men. Besides, the phrase describes women obedience and their passive nature in the confrontation of the day-to-day activities in the society. The women are displayed as beings whose role is to observe and to have little control over the unfolding events at a given time. Within
In the Greek play Antigone writer Sophocles illustrates the clash between the story’s main character Antigone and her powerful uncle, Creon. King Creon of Thebes is an ignorant and oppressive ruler. In the text, there is a prevailing theme of rules and order in which Antigone’s standards of divine justice conflict with Creon’s will as the king. Antigone was not wrong in disobeying Creon, because he was evil and tyrannical. The authors of “Antigone: Kinship, Justice, and the Polis,” and “Assumptions and the Creation of Meaning: Reading Sophocles’ Antigone.” agree with the notion that Antigone performs the role of woman and warrior at once. She does not only what a kinswoman would, but also what a warrior would do.
Antigone’s motivation is love for her family- she puts it above all else. In fact, she is willing to sacrifice her life to defend that love. Antigone goes to great lengths to bury her deceased brother, who according to an edict issued by King Creon, died in dishonor, consequently making it illegal for anyone to bury his body. Through her actions to comply with her motivations, it is revealed that Antigone’s actions are also fueled by her strong beliefs that, first, the gods’ laws
This quote suggests that Antigone is dying proudly illustrating that her actions would have been fighting for right. She even loses her life for this stance which implies that she is a true martyr. This statement also gives an impression that she derives pleasure from pain as she herself is inviting her death, proving that she is a masochist. This statement also enlightens the reader with the information that Antigone was aware of the penalties of her act as she is aware about the punishment of execution awarded to anyone who tries to sprinkle dirt over Polyneices’ body. This encourages reader to believe that Antigone isn’t an innocent victim of tyranny. The examples and the quotes used above showcases that Antigone’s character is better defined as a martyr and masochist rather than an innocent victim of
Gender and its roles are exposed in the story of Antigone as the central themes. Roles and rules are set and followed by several people in this era, this is appreciated in this text. Ideas of contradiction to these rules were not explored. In Greek mythology, several women held positions of power, but none of these women were human, making the idea of a powerful woman godlike and unattainable, as if to keep woman in their place, which of course, was always under the rule of the superior gender, the male. To challenge a patriarchy with feminism was dangerous, for both sexes were equally protective of it, leaving the challenger desolate in the battle against it. To rely on women to help other women rebel against this social norm was not probable, in the contrary, women held each other accountable for complying to these rules and punished those who didn’t. Women were their gender’s prevalent critics and suppressors, not only because they feared the repercussions, but since they didn’t have the means to rebel against it.
Antigone developed the role of the women in society, and represent a new type of character- the one who sets her individual conscience and belief in divine principle above and against the power and authority of the state. In addition, she represents individualism and the opposition towards the patriarchal society. By disobeying to Creon's orders, she overturned one of the fundamental rules of her state. She refused to reconsider her opinion even when she was confronted by the king and sentenced to death. Antigone said, "And if I have to die for this pure crime,/ I am content, for I shall rest beside him;/ His love will answer mine" (Antigone, line 72-74). Antigone strongly believed that she will be justified by the gods because
Ismene once argued with her sister, “If in defiance of the law we cross a monarch 's will?--weak women, think of that, not framed by nature to contend with men” (Sophocles 49-68). Ismene did not realize then that she was speaking with of one of the greatest heroines and monarchs of modern feminism in all of literature. If any woman today dared utter the words above, they would face immediate contention from the herd of strong-willed females belonging to the 21st century. In Antigone, we see Antigone press forward with conviction in pursuit of justice and truth. She is met with great opposition, largely due to her gender. In the past 2500 years, society has evolved in monumental ways.
“No woman shall seduce us. If we must lose, Let's lose to a man, at least. Is a woman stronger than we?” (Sophocles.II.3.539-540) says Creon, King of Thebes and uncle to the disobeying but brave Antigone in Antigone by Sophocles. A patriarchal society is a community in which male domination over women, Sophocles explains the journey of Antigone in getting her brother buried and yielding against the laws of Thebes in a man dominated city. Antigone portrayed in the play is loyal and stubborn, she would do anything that feels ethical and honest to her even if that disregarding the laws created by men. She responds to the standards of King Creon by going against her own blood, not believing that women should subjected to the rule that they
Antigone, however, decides she would rather please the gods than man and buries her brother against King Creon’s orders. She is fully aware of the consequences should she get caught, yet she openly disobeys, even against her sister’s warnings. She gives Creon no additional respect either as a male in a patriarchal society or as a king and ultimate authority figure. In fact, she calls him a fool! Antigone boldly states to Creon himself, “If my present actions strike you as foolish, let’s just say I’ve been accused of folly by a fool,” (Sophocles p.657). The strong will and defiance she exhibits are very characteristic of modern feminism.
Before Antigone begins, the two brothers of Antigone are engaged in a battle no only of land, but of power. Their deep desires to rule Thebes and male dominating ego, only lead to their deaths; a tragedy that would affect more than just themselves. The battle of glory for men would not be the same for their sisters, but in 442 B.C. as Sophocles illustrates, the living women would have to deal with the tragedies of the dead; a task not easy to be burdened with as woman. Their uncle, Creon, dominates Antigone and her sister Ismene to the extent of mourning their own brother's death. Antigone has chosen a fate without glory: "I'll suffer nothing as great as death without glory," (Antigone line 112). Only a male in this time could die with honor and glory, and just as her uncle has forced a death without glory for her brother, although a glorious death is honorable, she has decided it a better life to die without glory than dishonor her blood and the gods. Ismene does not wish to go against the laws of her uncle, for "women were not born to contend with men," but between the bond of her and Antigone, she will defy the king(line 75). Ismene is just as horrified about the edict as Antigone is, but asks what they--weak women--can do. During this era the women had a specific role, and to defy that role would be horrific enough, despite
In Sophocles’ Antigone, gender roles are a major conflicting theme throughout the entire play. The setting of the play was written during the Greek mythological days, around 442 B.C. During these days, men were dominant and held all of the power, so women were automatically treated as less. Antigone and Creon portray the conflicting sides between male and female, and Ismene and Haemon portray opposing sides to Antigone and Creon’s actions. Antigone, Ismene, Creon, and Haemon each show differences in behavior due to their sex versus the actions each character chooses to take. Antigone tells Ismene about her plans to bury their brother, Polynices, which is going against Creon’s orders. Antigone and Ismene, have contrasting perspectives on
Although ancient Greece was a male-dominant society, Sophocles’ Antigone portrays women as being strong and capable of making wise decisions. Antigone, the tragic heroine, rejects the traditional role of women. As such, Sophocles punishes Ismene for embodying traditional attitude. Moreover, Creon is punished for misogyny. Sophocles, accordingly, uses characterization to promote feminist ideas.
The first specification for the tragic hero is one of the few that both Antigone and Creon exhibit; both characters are between the extremes of perfect morality and pure villainy. Antigone’s moral neutrality is illustrated through her noble intentions and the unorthodox way she acts upon them. When she is confronted by Creon and demanded to give an explanation for her disobedience, Antigone says, “For me it was not Zeus who made that order. Nor did that Justice who lives with the gods below mark out such laws to hold among mankind” (Sophocles 207 ll. 450-2). Along with love and loyalty to her brother, Antigone is largely motivated by her desire for justice and appeasement of the gods. While her intentions are noble, Antigone’s actions in the
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.
In Antigone, a play by Sophocles, the sisters Ismene and Antigone make bold and unwavering decisions. Contrary to most male characters in Greek plays, their male counterparts do not exhibit many masculine traits. Despite the fact that Ismene and Antigone are Greek women, they show more traits that are stereotypically masculine than their male counterparts such as decisiveness, fearlessness, and defiance.