The Conflict Between Antigone And Creon, King Of Thebes, And The Struggle Between Men And Women

The Conflict Between Antigone And Creon, King Of Thebes, And The Struggle Between Men And Women

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Male-dominated societies have existed for ages especially during the time of Ancient Greece. Sophocles’ work Antigone illustrates women in a more capable and strong manner with the ability of making wise, and often more moral, decisions. Antigone is the main character who breaks the stereotypes of weak and subordinate positions in society. Antigone is willing to sacrifice her own life rebelling against the patriarchal society in which she is captive to provide a proper burial for her brother. The clash between Antigone and Creon, King of Thebes, symbolizes the struggle between men and women. Antigone’s role as a woman affects the play by not only representing feminism but by upsetting gender roles and the hierarchy of ancient society.
The first words spoken by Antigone and the first words in the play demonstrate the vivid danger that Antigone is capable of imposing with her words;
“My own flesh and blood—dear sister, dear Ismene, how many griefs our father Oedipus handed down! Do you know one, I ask you, one grief that Zeus will not perfect for the two of us while we still live and breathe? There’s nothing, no pain—our lives are pain—no private shame, no public disgrace, nothing I haven’t seen in your grief and mine.” (1–8)
Antigone is referring to the familial grief that seems to be “handed down” from her father (Oedipus) to his son, her brother (Polynices). Antigone is a powerful woman with powerful words. She admits that she has nothing to lose by speaking against Creon, and that Creon will only bring the next grief to her family:

“Why not? Our own brothers ' burial! Hasn 't Creon graced one with all the rites, disgraced the other? Eteocles, they say, has been given full military honors, rightly so—Creon has laid him in the...


... middle of paper ...


... up to men. She refuses to submit to her role as a woman of the time.
Sophocles is one of the first people to display the different gender roles of society at the time and creates a feminist character. Antigone and Ismene portray major and opposing female characteristics. Antigone displays the sensible and tough role of a feminist. Sophocles creates the sexist male role through Creon and his tyranny. Gender difference has been present in society and roles have not much changed. Antigone sought to change this by defining herself through her actions and her words and not by her gender and her supposed role in society. Antigone is her own person through the entire play and stands up not only against Creon, a man, but her sister as well. Antigone plays a major role in the story line and her emotions and actions guide the story along and give the reader/viewer a heroine.

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