The Female Tragedy In Antigone's Play

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Like all of the great writer Sophocles’ others plays, Antigone can be characterized as a tragedy. Sophocles majorly impacted Greek dramatics by bringing a female character in as a main, dynamic character. Antigone’s plot stems around the titular character’s decision to go against King Creon’s orders by performing the proper burial rites for her brother, honoring the gods. To her, honoring her sibling and pleasing the gods is more important than abiding by law. Sophocles proved to be a visionary innovator by introducing a major female antagonist to Greek drama. A few times throughout the play, he alludes to the fact that women have less power than men, and throughout the play, Creon constantly shows his hubris by being power hungry and unwilling…show more content…
After hearing of Antigone’s disobeying of his orders, he actually says, “No woman’s going to govern me—no, no—not while I’m still alive.” (Creon, Line 600). Later, when addressing his son Haemon, he says, “If we must fall from power, let that come at some man’s hand—at least, we won’t be called inferior to any woman.” (Creon, Lines 769-774). The presence of these misogynistic ideas helps the audience’s perception of Antigone’s valor. Antigone isn’t just a one of the citizens of Athens going against the law; she is a bold woman standing up for herself. Creon’s views suggest that her being a female is more of an embarrassment to him than if a man had done the same thing, even though she is a member of his royal family. Sophocles incorporated so much dialogue distinguishing between the genders and the misogyny that was so prevalent at the time. This shows that he was trying to make a larger point besides honoring the…show more content…
In addition to disobeying Creon, she admitted to her actions and continued to defy him in person for what she believed. She was confident that the gods wanted her to honor them and her brother by burying him, and she told King Creon that the gods’ priorities should be above his as a mortal. Antigone’s words also show her lack of acceptance for the passive female role. After being condemned to death, she recites her soliloquy. In it, her words illustrate that she was conscious of her age, and she was in the peak of her life. She accepted that she would not be able to experience a long life with a husband and children, and she was fearless in death. Her ability to bravely stand by her beliefs even in the face of death shows that she had a courageous heart and bold mind. She was not willing to step down and let go of what was most important to her. Antigone’s independent spirit is what makes her stand out as an ancient literary feminist and
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