SOPHOCLES’S ANTIGONE: A FEMINIST REPRESENTATION

SOPHOCLES’S ANTIGONE: A FEMINIST REPRESENTATION

Length: 2093 words (6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

A woman who rebelled against a distinctively patriarchal, male-dominated Greek society. A woman who defied the orders of the King to follow her heart. A woman who acted in accordance with her sense of right and wrong. A woman with great reverence for relationships and an even greater allegiance towards family values. Such a woman deserves applause. A rebel. A legend. An example. A woman. Antigone.

Sophocles’ Antigone has as its backdrop a very rigid and conservative Greek society and Greek culture when it was certainly against the norm of a typical ancient Greek woman to rebel against a male authority. And therein lies the reason to believe that Sophocles’ protagonist in Antigone showed signs of early feminism. Antigone dared to raise her voice against a patriarchal order at a time when women in ancient Greece were generally fearful that rebellion against male authority would lead to unfortunate circumstances.

My paper celebrates both: the woman in Antigone, and the feminist.

Keywords – woman, patriarchal, society, Greek, rebel


For a homage she thought was rightly deserved
she practiced her devotion,
and till the corpses both were out of sight
hung fiercely to the notion
that those who’ve died deserve as much respect
as those who carry on,
but who can blame survivors who suspect
that she, like Metatron,
would like to be the one who’s in control?
She crosses that fine border
that circumscribes the playing field whose goal
is set for law and order.

The ancient Greek culture when deeply examined reveals much turmoil on the basis of gender rights and personal roles within the society, as examined by Aristophanes, Plato, Bingen, and Pizan, each seemingly ahead of his or her time with respect to femini...


... middle of paper ...


...ven in death shows that she had a strong heart and solid mind. She was not willing to let go of what was most important to her. Furthermore, in saying that she would not have performed this deed for her husband or children, she is denouncing her traditional gender role as a female whose only purpose was to become a loving wife and mother. Antigone’s expression of her independent spirit is what makes her stand out as an ancient literary feminist and martyr. Antigone’s legacy will live on, and provide inspiration to many other rebels to stand up for their
rights and everything they believe is correct. Antigone's strong feminist stance in defying a patriarchal tyrant shows how individualistic ideas and actions can be very effectual.

Works Cited

Diner, Hellen. Mothers and Amazons: The First Feminine History of Culture. (New York. Doubleday Anchor Books. 1973)

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Male Roles and Relationships in Antigone and A Doll's House Essay

- Male roles have created and influenced feminism in the world throughout time. “Feminism supposed that men had secured power for themselves by claiming the authority to decree meaning… all of life’s meaning was arbitrarily defined by men. Therefore, as the philosophy of feminism spread, it challenged to make women’s experiences a reference point for determining life’s meaning,” (Mary A. Kassian, Feminist Mistake). In Antigone written by Sophocles and A Doll’s House written by Henrik Ibsen, the issue of feminism is known....   [tags: compare contrast comparison]

Term Papers
1241 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on A Feminist Reading of Sophocles' Antigone

-       While researchers disagree over when the feminist movement began, most agree that it was sometime in the past two centuries. The feminist movement has generally, and often successfully, sought equality between sexes. For example, the womens' movement has won women the right to vote, moved women "out of the kitchen," and, in many ways, made women socioeconomically competitive with men. Nonetheless, all such gains, and the womens' (or feminist) movement itself are largely products of the last 200 years....   [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]

Term Papers
1764 words (5 pages)

Sophocles’ Oedipus Cycle – Antigone, as a Feminist Essay

- Sophocles’ Oedipus Cycle – Antigone, as a Feminist Throughout history, women have always stood in the shadows of men. In many cultures, the role of women has always been to be seen and not heard. As one of the first feminists in world literature, the character Antigone, of Sophocles’ Oedipus Cycle, displays fine characteristics of a great female leader in order to stand up against male dominance for her religious, political, and personal beliefs. When the king denies her brother, Polynices, proper burial, Antigone goes against state law by burying him herself in order to protect heavenly decree and maintain justice....   [tags: Antigone Essays]

Term Papers
1375 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Sophocles Greek Tragedy, Antigone

- It has been said that love conquers all. Love is a major issue in Sophocles Greek Tragedy, Antigone. Antigone’s family is full of incest and betrayal. People say that Antigone, and her sister Ismene have been cursed because of their family’s bad decisions and horrible luck. Love in Antigone’s case did conquer all, but do the tragedy of deaths. Antigone’s love for her deceased brother eventually caused her own death. Antigone’s death went on to cause Haimon’s death, which ultimately caused the death of Haimon’s mother, Eurydice in due time....   [tags: Sophocles Antigone]

Term Papers
473 words (1.4 pages)

Feminism in Sophocles' Antigone and Shakespeare's Othello Essay

- Feminism in Antigone and Othello          Feminism has been one of the most important forces in shaping our modern-day society. Thanks to the women's rights movement, females today enjoy rights and freedoms that are unprecedented in the history of Western civilization. However, it was not always this way. Whereas modern literature that contains feminist messages barely gets a second thought, readers in our time are intrigued and impressed by feminist works coming from a decidedly male-biased past....   [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]

Term Papers
2412 words (6.9 pages)

Pride in Sophocles' Antigone Essays

- Pride in Sophocles' Antigone Pride is a quality that all people possess in one way or another. Some people take pride in their appearance, worldly possessions, or position in society. The story of Antigone written by Sophocles has two characters who have a tragic flaw of pride. I will show how Creon’s pride of power leads to his destruction, and how Antigone’s pride makes her an honorable character who should be treated as a hero. Creon is a man who has just become the king of Thebes and has a flaw of having too much pride....   [tags: Sophocles Antigone]

Term Papers
975 words (2.8 pages)

The Source of Conflict between Antigone and Creon in Sophocles' Antigone

- The Source of Conflict between Antigone and Creon in Sophocles’ “Antigone” In the following paper, I plan to discuss the source of conflict between the title characters of Antigone and Creon in Sophocles’ “Antigone”. I also plan to discuss how each character justifies his or her actions and what arguments they give for their justifications. I will also write about the strengths and weaknesses of these arguments. The final points I try to make are about who Sophocles thinks is right and who I think is right....   [tags: Sophocles Antigone]

Term Papers
1274 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about Antigone by Sophocles

- "I would not count any enemy of my country as a friend." In the play Antigone, written by Sophocles, Antigone finds herself torn apart between divine law and state law. The play opens up at the end of a war between Eteocles and Polyneices, sons of Oedipus and brothers of Antigone and Ismene. These brothers, fighting for control of Thebes, kill each other, making Creon king of Thebes. Creon, as king, gives an important speech to the citizens of Thebes, announcing that Eteocles, who defended Thebes, will receive a proper burial, unlike his brother Polyneices, who brought a foreign army against Thebes....   [tags: Antigone Sophocles Greek Play]

Term Papers
863 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Sophocles' Antigone

- Sophocles' Antigone 1. - Clearly define by specific traits the character of Antigone and Creon. After her mother committed suicide, her father died and her brothers fought until they killed each other, Antigone projects her strong character with interesting ways of showing it. As the main character with strong values and a stubborn way, she follows the laws of god, without minding the consequences. Antigone is a strong willed woman who wins the respect of the audience by the inner strength and resistance of manipulation she has, showing the potential of human kind....   [tags: Sophocles Antigone]

Free Essays
1173 words (3.4 pages)

Sophocles' Antigone Essay

- Being a part of a family forces one to have responsibilities and duties that are needed to be fulfilled. In Sophocles’ Greek tragedy, Antigone, Antigone has the responsibility of being loyal to her brother, Polynices. Her intuition and strong will discourages her from listening to the power of the state and to disobey some of her family to respect another part of her family. Her devotion leads to the destruction of Creon and herself, but her role as a part of her family does not stand in her determination to do what she believes to be right....   [tags: Sophocles Antigone Greek Tragedy]

Free Essays
1342 words (3.8 pages)