In Antigone, there was two brothers who shared being the King and one of the brothers, Polynices, wanted to start a war with the kingdom because he wanted to be the main ruler. Polynices and his brother Eteocles fight and they both end up killing each other. Their Uncle Creon, who takes position as King when they are both killed, decides that only Eteocles will have a proper burial and Polynices will be left to rot. Antigone, Polynices and Eteocles sister, thinks that Creon’s decision is unfair and takes upon herself to give Polynices a proper burial. When their other sister Ismene finds out, she is stuck between helping her sister bury their brother and following Creon’s demands.
But Antigone did so anyways knowing the consequences were going to be brutal. This is significant because the sacrificial death of Antigone, who challenged a male counterpart is basically inevitable. This play challenged the beliefs of women during that day and age, giving them the power to criticize and proceed against an opposing male force. Without the sacrificial death, Antigone would only consist of the overpowering actions of King Creon. Her decisions and actions on challenging him was one of the main themes of the play.
The objective for the feminist movement is to find equality between the sexes. Since the start of this movement, women have acquired the right to vote and have become big competition for males throughout the workplaces. Even though the feminist movement has been big throughout the past 200 years, there are lots of examples in history that show characteristics of feminism. One of those examples is that show characteristics of feminism. One of those examples is the book Antigone by Sophocles.
The famous feminist, Gloria Steinem, once said,”Women are not going to be equal outside the home until men are equal in it.” This central idea of equality is relevant to the story Antigone by Sophocles. Considering the circumstances of the story, the minor character, Ismene, is conflicted with standing by the beliefs that men are overall rulers and powerful over women. Ismene’s emotions and mood fluctuates through the story in a horrible manner. To tragedy unto despair is a major theme in Sophocles most famous tragedy, Antigone.
Sophocles’ Antigone, is a classic Athenian Greek play that discusses questions about the importance of following the law when one does not agree with it, and whether divine laws or man-made laws have more importance in society. While these themes are worth exploring, another interesting aspect of the play is the cruel treatment and punishment of the title character, Antigone, by her uncle and future father-in-law Creon, the king of Thebes. Creon’s harsh punishment, a parallel to the treatment of women in Greek society, can be seen in many of the dialogues of the play. Antigone is determined to provide proper burial for dead brother, Polynices, against the orders of the king, and goes to her sister Ismene for help. However, Ismene is distraught at the idea of defying the king (104).
Antigone is the daughter of the late king Oedipus, and Creon is the king of Corinth. The conflict that these two face is the burial of Polyneices, who was Antigone’s deceased brother. Creon was not allowing Polynices to be buried, because he had fought against Athens. To Creon, this was correct: “And yet you dared to overstep these laws?” (Sophocles Line 458)
According to Antigone, her brother Polyneices deserves equal treatment and burial just like Eteocles had. Antigone is openly honest when she says, “ Ismene, I am going to bury him” (Sophocles 191). Antigone has disregarded Creon’s rules and thinks the law is merely a suggestion. Antigone, however, is aware that crossing Creon will possibly ruin her reputation or get her killed, yet she is determined to carry out her plan.
The play Antigone written by Sophocles is a Greek tragedy which incorporates themes of divine law vs. man made law ,conventional role of a woman vs. a defiant role portrayed by a woman, but the very essence of the play and other major themes are created with the defiance of the conventional role of women shown by Antigone. This is the primary aim of the essay. A little insight into the Greek society gives us a brief idea about the status of women and help do a comparative study with the unique character of Antigone and her role in the development of the plot.
Worse, the body of a traitor is left to rot above ground as food for scavengers. Creon’s law conflicts with Antigone’s loyalty to the gods. She believes the laws of the gods respect the dead and require a proper burial. She does not hesitate to ignore the law of the state and fulfill the laws of the gods. When she turns to her sister, Ismene, to bury their brother, Polyneices, Ismene’s fear consumes her.
Sophocles play “Antigone” introduces a lot of debatable topics such as Human law vs Divine laws, pride, but most importantly the topic of woman’s movement for empowerment. Long before 442 B.C.E, women were belittled because of their gender however, after the birth of “Antigone” it demonstrated a strong outreach towards women and their roles in society ”Antigone, a woman who defines King Creon’s edict without any fear, doubts, or regrets. This courageous woman, the fruit of incest, has fascinated philosophers in the nineteenth century, inspired playwrights in the twentieth century, and intrigued feminist thinkers and activists for decades” (Söderbäck). Birth from a respected bloodline, Antigone doesn’t feel respected at all within her town, especially from her uncle Creon who became entitled as the King after Antigone’s blood
In the play, Antigone, daughter of Oedipus learns about the death of her two brothers (Eteocles and Polynices).Creon, the new king of Thebes passed a decree to the city on the burial of the two brothers. In the decree, Creon declares that Eteocles body should be buried with honor and fame for his courage of saving the city from the enemy. Whiles Polynices body is left unburied and rotting for beasts to feed on because he came to destroy the city and enslave the people. Antigone defies Creon 's decree, buries Polynices body and gets caught. Creon imprisons her
I used this quote from Antigone because it properly states Antigone’s viewpoint on Creon’s decree. As told in the story, Creon's decree was that no one could grieve for or bury Polyneices. Creon made this proclamation because when Eteocles and Polyneices fought over Thebes, Eteocles was pronounced king and exiled Polyneices from Thebes. Polyneices, in turn, formed an army to take on the city, ending up with Eteocles and Polyneices killing each other, thus putting Creon in the position of power. Creon then proceeds to label Polyneices a traitor and finally, makes his decree.
In the tragic play, Antigone by Sophocles, the character Creon, who acts as the antagonist, goes though reversal and recognition. Creon is not only the antagonist, but also the ruthless king of Thebes, and Antigone's uncle. Creon inherited the throne after the deaths of Antigone's two brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices. Throughout the play, Creon makes it clear that he objects the laws of the gods in favor of the laws of man. Because of this, he sates that since Polyneices was a traitor to Thebes, he must not be mourned or buried by any of the citizens.
She was outraged when she found out that her brother Polyneices was going to be left to rot and be eaten by animals, because he was a traitor to the city. Antigone believed that her brother deserved a proper burial even though he tried going against the city unlike her other brother Eteocles. She asks Ismene (her sister) to join her in this act of rebellion but Ismene does not want to get in trouble for going against her kings orders so Antigone does it on her own. Creon feels disrespected and punishes Antigone for not following his rules. He seals Antigone while she is alive, inside a tomb.