Gender Inequality In Antigone

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Gender and power intersect in shaping the tragedy of Sophocles’ Antigone. Despite Creon’s edict that Polyneices should be left to rot in the battlefield for being a traitor, Antigone defies the rule of man to obey the rule of the gods and her obligation as kin, as she properly buries her brother. Creon and Antigone can be both argued as tragic heroes, but the focus dwells on the King of Thebes. A line has been specifically selected to explain why he is a tragic hero. The context of the line is that Haemon pledges allegiance to his father, who criticizes women, in general, but attacks Antigone, in specific. Creon is a tragic hero because of the irony of his sexism, where he blames Antigone and women for anarchy, ruining the kingdom and homes,…show more content…
He exclaims to his son: “What evils are not wrought by Anarchy!” (Sophocles, line 671). Anarchy refers to lawlessness and disorder. Creon is referring to Antigone in this line, though he generalizes all women too, for he uses the word “she” in the subsequent line. Line 671 asserts that anarchy comes from evil, in effect, suggesting only women can be evil, evil enough to wreak lawlessness. On the one hand, Creon is right that Antigone broke his edict. On the other hand, he uses a slippery slope argument, when he assumes that violating this edict is caused by evil. By taking a generalized viewpoint, Creon shows hubris because he made the edict without consulting anyone. The edict is his specific law, not the law of the people, yet, he assumes it is the right law, a good law, and, by breaking it, the violator is evil and the catalyst of anarchy. Creon insists on the absoluteness of his edict, as well as his power. Furthermore, the line indicates one of the characteristics of Greek tragedy, which is dramatic irony. As Creon berates women for their evil, he exposes himself to be the evil one for not considering the morality of Antigone’s action. Creon makes an edict, which sets his fortune dwindling from there, for surely, it will clash with people who have strong family ties and…show more content…
Creon asserts: “She ruins States, and overthrows the home” (Sophocles, 672). “She” refers to Antigone, who becomes the synecdoche for women. Sexism strongly manifests in the line, as Creon generalizes all women as anarchists who destroy states and homes. Appearing angrier that a woman disobeys him more than being mad over the breaking of his law, Creon shows hubris because of sexism. His fatal flaw is pride for thinking that, as a man and a ruler, no woman and man should ever contradict him. Moreover, the line depicts peripeteia. As Creon emphasizes what women do to ruin the state, he ironically points the finger at him. His good fortune is reversed through a proud edict that mostly serves his ego and breaks his home for not respecting family bonds, including the bond between siblings and the bond between parents and their children. The final line foreshadows anagnorisis for the tragic life of Creon. Creon says: “She dissipates and routs the embattled host” (Sophocles, 673). Antigone does not divide and corrupt the people; only Creon does with his hubris. The word “embattled host” suggests Creon’s ending, a fate worse than his misdeed. He is embattled for losing all in the end, simply because he cannot allow a rightful burial. The burial does not mean Polyneices is a hero,
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