Roles of Women in Antigone

1976 WordsJun 21, 20188 Pages
Roles of Women in the Greek Tragedy Antigone Despite the male dominant society of Ancient Greece, the women in Sophocles’ play Antigone all express capabilities of powerful influence and each individually possess unique characteristics, showing both similarities and contrasts. The women in the play are a pivotal aspect that keeps the plot moving and ultimately leads to the catharsis of this tragedy. Beginning from the argument between Antigone and Ismene to Eurydice’s suicide, a male takes his own life and another loses everything he had all as a result of the acts these women part take in. The women all put their own family members above all else, but the way they go about showing that cherishment separates them amongst many other things.…show more content…
Supported or not, Antigone has made up her mind. Ismene is presented as a foil to her sister, Antigone, in their initial take on the decision of whether or not they should provide their brother the burial he wasn’t granted. Ismene, on the contrary, proves to be very cautious and wise with her decision. Instead of being persuaded by Antigone and follow her down a cursed path, she reminds herself and her sister of the great obstacles that will make the burial nearly impossible and help them avoid the wrath of an egotistical man. Ismene can either be interpreted as a weakling or as a strong character depending on the point of view she is observed by. When she refuses to extend her aid to her sister, it can be seen as a reason to save her own life or as a chance to not just save but prevent chaos to all. In either case, Ismene stands opposed to her sister’s beliefs to go against Creon’s words. She believes that the certain responsibilities and activities that one is to take part in is dependent on the basis of gender roles. The debate between the laws of man and the laws of the gods forms the spine of this Greek drama. Sophocles is essentially posing a question to the readers about whether the obedience of the citizen should be given to the gods and family or to the authority when they are on conflicting terms. While Ismene sides with the authority and Antigone shows loyalty to the gods and her family, Eurydice doesn’t quite make a clear-cut
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