Antigone Gender Roles Essay

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Antigone and The Importance of Gender in Ancient Greek Culture In Ancient Greece, there was a social hierarchy onto which everyone fell in one category or another. There were the free and the enslaved, the Greeks and the foreigners, the rich and the poor. Gender was an important aspect in this hierarchical society in which Sophocles’ Antigone (Sophocles) takes place. The men had their roles as the leaders of society, participating in politics, law, and the military. Women, on the other hand, were expected to tend to the home or farm (“Gender in the Ancient World”). This was the traditional view throughout Ancient Greece, though as with all societal standards, there were those who opposed these limitations given to women. In Antigone, there are those characters who prefer…show more content…
Creon is a prime example of the conventional Greek man. Antigone begins with Creon’s decree stating that any man who tries to bury the dead Polyneices will be deemed a traitor, and will be punished. (1.43-46) Creon makes this demand in the hopes of asserting himself as the new leader of Thebes. He says to Haimon, “Do you want me to show myself weak before the people? (3.28) He believes he must prove himself, and his manliness, which was a common sentiment among the men of Ancient Greece. Creon is also a firm believer that women have a place in society and should stay in that place; therefore, when he hears that Antigone is the one to defy him and bury Polyneices, he is astonished. Creon exclaims, “But this is Antigone! Why have you brought her here? (2.20) He doesn’t believe that a woman could be bold to break the law. In the act of decreeing his law, Creon inadvertently gives Antigone the opportunity to break it since she does not conform to the customary roles of women; this provides the main conflict in the plot of

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