Gender inequities in Antigone: A closer look at Athenian society Introduction Sophocles adroitly rendered the gender conflict between Creon and Antigone in his renowned play Antigone, as the two characters rigidly defend their beliefs on burying Polynices, the traitor of Thebes and Antigone’s brother. His disdain for women emerges in various passages of the play, as Creon learns that Antigone attempted to bury Polynices against his orders and, as his son Haemon opposes his decision to lock Antigone in a tomb for her disobedience. The gender discrimination in Antigone illustrates Athenian society’s view of women as inferior to men, a threat to man’s pride, and sexual object with little significance. Moreover, Sophocles could be suggesting a subliminal message that women are capable of devise logical and rational decisions during times of conflicts.
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 roles and social status of women in ancient times are being described by many well-known playwrights and poets. Yet, different works shows different opinions towards “women power”. In this essay, I am going to compare Homer’s Iliad and The Code of Hammurabi along with Sophocles’ Antigone.
Through our classes discussion and presentations of our interactive orals, we discussed the cultural context of Sophocles’ play “Antigone.” In our discussion my cultural understanding was developed about the role of women in Ancient Greece and how Antigone challenges those roles, and the importance the importance of proper burial . We also discussed the life of the playwright Sophocles.
Pride can be one of man's strongest qualities. In Sophocles' play, Antigone, the Theme of pride becomes the cause for destruction for both Creon and Antigone in the play.. Creon's Pride blinds him to the injustice he commits against Antigone and the gods. Antigone's pride leaves her no choice but to be killed because of her beliefs. They Both automatically surrender to their own hubris and demonstrate how uncontrolled pride leads to personal downfalls and destruction in Antigone. The excessive pride of Creon and Antigone lead to their downfalls in Antigone.
Greek tragedies are known for their predictable endings and characters, whose character traits almost always stereotypically reflect those of the archetype they have been assigned. Sophocles’ play, Antigone, is no exception to this. Despite having been written around 441 B.C., his play does present newer controversial topics such as feminism in his play, along with more common themes such as integrity and loyalty. By establishing and associating Antigone’s character with heroic archetypes as the martyr and the tragic heroine, Sophocles could utilize her actions and characteristics as such roles to better demonstrate and convey his messages throughout his work.
Creon’s strong feelings about Antigone burying of her brother transgressed him as the tragic hero because his stubbornness against her caused everyone to turn on him. Such as when Creon is talking to Antigone and he tells her “ In all of Thebes, you’re the only one who looks at things this way.” To which Antigone replies “They share my views, but they keep their mouths shut just for you.” This shows how Creon’s slowly being turned against because his stubbornness.
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 tragedy, Antigone by Sophocles is a well developed take on the fight between who is applicable to be the protagonist of a story. In most stories, plays, poems, written works in general from the first literary works discovered surrounded the Hero’s Journey. The tragedy of Antigone is the one play that seems to accept Joseph Campbell’s theory but master the ideals of a protagonist but still battle for the position at the same time. It’s more or less a toss up to put it simply, but there are strong events and decisions within the tragedy that unfolds somewhat who the antagonist and protagonist is. Similar to the characters in Finding Nemo, Nemo and his father, Marlin, are a debatable pair in deciding who is the lead in the film. They, as do Creon and Antigone, follow the Hero’s Journey rather fluently making the end choice in who is the reliable protagonist a hard choice to even think about. The thing that must be considered most is a definition, being protagonist. What a protagonist is, is the leading character or one of the major characters
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).
A Fight For What You Believe In “Tell me briefly- not in some lengthy speech were you aware there was a proclamation forbidding what you did?” Antigone’s words, actions and ideas differ with Creon’s character to the point of these two characters having clashing desires. The clashing desires cause the characteristics of controlling, worry, and bitterness that’s highlighted within Creon’s character. Overall, these conflicting motivations develop Creon as a tragic hero by his stubbornness and his pride is way too high and the conflict with Antigone and the battle between the “Laws of the gods” and the “Laws of man.” Antigone’s words, actions and ideas differ to Creon’s character because she does what is more right for the “Laws of man” in differentiation to Creon, he’s he believes in the “Laws of the gods.”
This is especially true in the way Ismene reacts to the laws Creon puts in place. Under Creons authority, she refused to help even her sister bury her own brother. She was so obedient to Creon she wouldn’t even help her own family. Even when Antigone tries to tell her about how they were family and her brother deserved a proper burial, Ismene said: “They mean a great deal to me; but I have no strength. To break laws that were made for the public good.”
When Antigone and Ismene tells Creon, they were the ones who buried their brother he says,“ And all the time I never knew that these two sisters were aiming at my throne!”. Creon thinks that people are trying to take his place in royalty. This is one of his flaws because he doesn’t want to hear people out he just does what he feels is right. There’s another example that shows Creon’s flaws, “Your temper terrifies them, everyone will tell you what you only what you like to hear.” This example show his flaws because he has a bad temper and the people are scared to speak up or do anything because they’re scared of what he might do to them.
When Antigone and Ismene tells Creon, they were the ones who buried their brother he says,“ And all the time I never knew that these two sisters were aiming at my throne!”. Creon thinks that people are trying to take his place in royalty. This is one of his flaws because he doesn’t want to hear people out he just does what he feels is right. There’s another example that show Creon’s flaws, “Your temper terrifies them, everyone will tell you what you only what you like to hear.” This example shows his flaws because he has a bad temper and the people are scared to speak up or do anything because they’re scared of what he might do to them.
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.