Women's Role In Antigone Essay

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It is well known that for much of history, females have been largely oppressed and given few rights, unlike the male gender. Traditionally, a women’s role in society was to be a submissive housewife and to raise children. In Sophocles’ play, Antigone, a young woman goes against the law to give her dead brother a proper burial, defying the typical role expected of a female during this time period. Antigone can be seen as a role model for women because she knows her own mind, stands up to her uncle, and sacrifices herself for someone she loves.
Women during this time period were expected to listen to the men in society and follow their rules. When Antigone tells her sister, Ismene, her intention to bury their brother against the orders of their uncle, Ismene states that she will “. . . obey the men in charge. My mind / Will never aim too high, too far” (pg. 3). Antigone is a stark contrast to Ismene, who wishes to stay within the bounds of traditional society by staying obedient and submissive to men. Antigone has her own mind however, and is not afraid to make her own decisions. This is also illustrated after her
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After catching Antigone, he declares, “Listen, if she’s not punished for taking the upper hand, / Then I am not a man. She would be a man!” (pg. 20). It is evident that Creon believes women should be punished for not staying in their place. Additionally, he states, “As long as I live, I will not be ruled by a woman” (pg. 22). As a man, he feels threatened by a woman who has the courage to disobey him. Even though he holds great power, Antigone is not afraid to challenge and stand up to him. After getting caught, she says, “No man could frighten me into taking on / The gods’ penalty for breaking such a law” (pg. 19). By standing up for herself in a male-dominated society, Antigone exemplifies a strong women not afraid to challenge the status
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