Gender has an impact on Antigone and her actions. Antigone does not stress her own gender openly, but Creon does, refusing to take back Antigone's punishment because she, a woman, has broken his law. One can view Antigone as being fed up with restrictions and obsessed with death and martyrdom. Clearly, she is motivated by love for her brother and by her strong belief that the divine law has been violated. However, becoming a martyr makes the consequences of her action an additional advantage, rather than an obstacle.
Antigone is angry for what her sister has said. She claimed, “If that is what you think, /I should not want you, even if you asked to come” (1. 54-56). Even when Ismene was ready to take part of the blame of the crime that was committed, Antigone, being as noble as she is, would not allow her sister to take any of the punishment. Because she protected her sister shows the reader that Antigone is truly a strong
I will either kill them, or myself, or both.” This can explain Antigone’s excessive desire to bury her brother and even further be supported in lines 25-28 when Antigone challenges her sister’s loyalty. Aristotle himself said that a tragic hero should be neither better nor worse normally than a normal person. With that being said Antigone’s sister, Ismene, was in the same position as her. Originally invoking a sense of naturalism this changes with Ismene’s refusal to help bury their brother. The lack of support for Antigone’s plan leaves her no choice, but distances herself from her sister who obviously doesn’t share the same family loyalty beliefs as her (Lines 77-81).
Ismene is trying to convince Antigone that they should just follow Creon’s law because she is scared and Ismene does not want them to get executed. Ismene tells Antigone angrily, “Our own death would be if we should go against Creon/And do what he has forbidden!” Antigone replies, “You may do as you like, /Since apparently the laws of the gods mean nothing to you.”(462) Antigone believes the god’s law is more important than Creon. Antigone will even go against her own sister to make sure her brother receives a proper burial. Antigone keeps the consistency of being strong throughout the entire play. After the sentry informs Creon that Antigone was the one trying to bury Polyneices, he wants Antigone arrested.
Instead of taking actions and strive for happy life, women choose to stay silent. They have all the power to go against self-empowered men, but most of women renounce action. There are certain obstacle created by society and especially men that make it harder for women to stand up for themselves. Women stay in the abusive relationships because our society puts an enormous pressure on them. Fear, shame, oppression and radical change push women to choose life in misery and stay silent.
Antigone’s strength allows her to defend her brother’s honor against Creon, who wants to make a statement about traitors. However, both Antigone and King Creon commit faults while trying to protect the things they love. Antigone should not have died for her beliefs as it puts her loved ones and community in danger, and Creon should not have forbidden the burial of Polyneices as it angers the Gods and causes him great suffering in the end. Antigone is a strong willed character who is not afraid to defend her beliefs. After learning that Creon has denied Polyneices of a proper burial she uses her free will to decide that she must lay her brother to rest, as she strongly believes he should be honored like the other fallen soldiers.
Ismene is willing to die with her sister and doesn’t give in to Antigone saying no; not only does this show how stubborn Ismene can be, it also shows that she has the willpower to seek things to the end. Ismene is a one of a kind character in this play because of her devotion and kindness to her sister. If the two boys Polyneices and Eteocles were still alive it is likely that Creon would find another way to rid the state of them. In that moment Ismene would definitely be the one who protects them while keeping the family from killing each other. During the conversation from the quote above the line “But now we stand convicted, both alike(Sophocles 1249).” Ismene said that they were both convicted.
From her first response, "No, I have heard nothing"(344). Ismene reveals her passivity and helplessness in the light of Creon's decree. Thus, from the start, Ismene is characterized as traditionally "feminine", a helpless woman that pays no mind to political affairs. Doubting the wisdom of her sisters plan to break the law and bury Polyneices, Ismene argues: We who are women should not contend with men; we who are weak are ruled by the stronger, so that we must obey....(346) Once again Ismene's words clearly state her weak, feminine character and helplessness within her own dimensions. Antigone, not happy with her sisters response chides her sister for not participating in her crime and for her passivity, saying, " Set your own life in order"(346).
Furthermore, frequently aligned with strength is the allegation of psychological weakness, bringing with it the masculine tagged word, bravery. This argument suggests that women, because of their supposed lack of masculine bravery, are unable to perform the basic function of infantry—to kill the enemy—and are disinclined to serve voluntarily in combat roles. However, a... ... middle of paper ... ... much like it has in civilian culture. However, as women continue to prove themselves on or near the battlefield, the established military chauvinistic traditions will fade, as it has with the recent Army and Marine Corps policy change that opened several near-frontline occupations previously denied to women. Though the timetable on this significant modification of the established military framework is difficult to gauge, and it is doubtful it will change soon.
Antigone, not happy with her sisters response chides her sister for not participating in her crime and for her passivity, saying, “Don’t fear for me. Set your own life in order"(97). For Antigone, no law could stand in the way of her strong consideration of her brother's spirit, not even the punishment of an early death. Ismene is more practical, knowing the task is impossible, she feels the situation to be hopeless. It is a wonder, which of the two sisters are really guilty of these chronic charges.