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.
What is worth mentioning in Sophocles’ play is that he not only showed the weak side of women but also the strong ones. For example, Ismene is the traditional role of women in ancient Greek—coward, fear of men power and feeble. For Ismene, "we must remember we were born women, not meant to strive with men" (Antigone). She even chose to die with Antigone while hearing her sentence, for she was afraid that she would be alone, she could not be able to fight against Creon, this men-dominant society. In contrast, her sister Antigone presents the “women power”.
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.
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
Gender roles play a significant part through ought the play Antigone due to the fact that men are treated on a higher scale than women. Sophocles portrays women as people with no rights nor freedom. Antigone is on a destiny for burial rights of her brother Polyneicis. Gender roles are expressed throughout the play Antigone by disrespecting women and men having power and freedom.
The play Antigone by Sophocles, translated by Paul Roche, was first performed in 441 BC focuses on the life of Antigone who is the daughter to the ex-rulers of Thebes. She has 1 other sister who is not supportive since she is manipulated by her uncle Creon who now rules after her 2 brothers killed each other in a fight for the throne. Creon and Antigone are the protagonist and antagonist who don’t seem to get along very well despite being related. Creon believes one thing and is very firm on his beliefs, while Antigone’s thoughts contradict to what Creon’s beliefs are, leading to both of them butting heads with each other and in the ultimate death of Antigone. During the play, the reader can rightfully assume that Creon is the tragic hero because he definitely has the most character growth throughout the play, although; it is very difficult to notice because of his pride and his tragic flaws.
In Sophocles’ Greek tragedy Antigone, a woman’s individual conscience trumps state law when Antigone displays time and again that she values her divine motives higher than those of the state throughout the tragedy. Her continued defiance of the state’s authority marks the importance of her individuality through various scenes in Antigone. Knowing full well her role as a woman in a patriarchal society, Antigone goes beyond the powers of the common man to carry on morals of herself and family exceeding beyond immortality and death. Engulfed in the menacing misogyny King Creon set forth in the state, Antigone is determined to thrive and keep the sacred deeds of herself and family in tact despite the fate it bears. The character of Antigone exhibits
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.
Antigone: Gender Difference and Power As we are all aware that for generations, gender difference and power have been an issue for centuries. That being said the play Antigone by Sophocles, displays many examples of these struggles. The main topics that will be discussed, are: Antigone’s background history in Oedipus the King, the conflict between Creon the king of Thebes and Antigone, the gender difference and power. In order to know who Antigone is, you must know some of her and her families background, which is from the play of Oedipus the King.
In the article, “You Are a Conformist (That Is, You Are Human)” written by Noam Shpancer, he claims that “Individually, we are designed to pick up social cues, coordinate and align our behavior with those around us… Conformity soothes.” Conformity is a major part in people's life whether it is to decide plans or to agree or disagree on a particular subject. In the play Antigone, written by Sophocles, many of the characters have the option to conform or not to their king, Creon. Antigone, however, tried to bury Polyneices, and Creon was trying to punish Antigone for violating his law. Antigone was being stubborn throughout the played causing the conflicted between the protagonist, Antigone, and the antagonist, Creon. The people who changed from
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.
Antigone also falls victim to the excessive force and jaded complexity of her uncle, when he prioritizes patriarchal standards and his law over her moral act of goodness and makes it known that, “while I’m alive, no woman is going to lord it over me” (590). All the trouble Creon put his family through just to save face and show his dominance ends up destroying what was left of his family just to avoid, “never be rated inferior to a woman, never”
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 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.