Antigone: A Proto-Feminist Analysis

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No one can really say how old feminism is for sure or the date feminism started, but most is credited to past centuries. Nevertheless, women have been feminists for much longer. In Sophocles’s Antigone, the heroine Antigone defies the authority of a patriarchal society and takes action on her own belief of what is right. Antigone goes directly against a man’s will and attempts to bury her brother, this gets her in trouble but sets her apart from the women at the time and defines her as a woman and not just a person, Sophocles argues that Antigone is a proto-feminist whose implementation in a mostly male dominated culture is inevitable to cause problems.
Ismene, points out to Antigone, “Remember we are women, we’re not born to contend with men,” (Sophocles 646). Creon symbolizes strict male authority by making a decree that is disagreement with the gods and forbids the burial of Antigone’s brother, Polynices. However, Antigone decides she would rather please the gods than Creon; Sophocles reveals Antigone’s true nature of disobedience and devotion. She is fully aware of the consequences, but she still opens her arms to the penalties. She gives Creon no respect as a
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Ismene’s unwillingness to participate in the burial of her brother, demonstrates her compliant and submissive disposition towards men and authority. “We are only women, we cannot fight with men, Antigone! The law is strong, we must give into the law. In this thing, and in worse” (Sophocles 46-49). In this sense, Ismene is the character who contracts with Antigone because both of them have very dissimilar views about the power of men over women. Antigone feels especially different about men’s authority. Ismene would be viewed as a perfect example of what a woman should be in Ancient Greece. The difference in Ismene’s personality and Antigone’s, highlight the type of person Antigone depicts to
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