Essay PreviewMore ↓
Ismene believes that women are “underlings” (76) and not “contend[ing] with men” (76) because she knows that men will always control society. This viewpoint of men’s domination of women depicts Ismene to be submissive to males while being fearful of men’s authority. Ismene is unable to have control over her destiny and decisions because she is fearful of men’s power over women, which leads to her refusing to bury Polynices. Later in the play, Ismene questions Creon’s judgment by saying “you’d kill your own son’s bride?” (641) which indicates that she is now aware that woman should have a voice and power in society. Her new understanding of Antigone’s message gives her the strength to query Creon, while additionally highlighting his cruelty. Ismene’s original belief of “submit[ing] to this” (77) and being a proper Greek girl, eventually transforms into becoming an advocate for Antigone. Her transformation defies men’s authority, the opposite of what she used to believe in.
Antigone believes that a woman should be intrepid and strong, even at the risk of challenging men’s authority. When she proposes to bury Polynices, Ismene answers, “we’re not born to contend with men”. (75) Antigone’s response, “that death will be a glory” (86), does not directly address gender issues, but it expresses her fury at Ismene’s passivity. After the burial of Polynices, Antigone defiantly states, “I did it. I don’t deny a thing,” while being interrogated by Creon (492) and later comments that she was “not ashamed for a moment, not to honor my brother”. (572-3) Antigone’s gallant speech and defiance toward traditional gender identities audaciously shows her revolutionary desire for gender equality.
How to Cite this Page
"The Role of Women in Antigone." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Jan 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In the play Antigone written by Sophacles, Antigone did not really have a role to play in society. She explored a contrast between the behaviour expected by women and the way she really acted in society. Women were considered as slaves being servants in homes, weaving all the time. During those days women did not have any rights and only had to obey the King’s orders. Even though that was the norm, Antigone still went against the laws of King Creon. Her two brothers, Eteocles and Polynices died fighting each other, because Eteocles refused to step down from the throne as his time to rule was over.... [tags: Andreas Capellanus, Antigone, Sophacles]
1048 words (3 pages)
- During the time that Sophocles wrote The Oedipus Cycle, women are portrayed negatively as weak and mindless; Sophocles develops this through his use of characters, actions and thoughts. We can observe these negative attitudes about women in characters such as Iocaste, Creon and Ismene. These characters’ beliefs about gender roles affects their every action and reaction throughout the story. The Oedipus Cycle by Sophocles could be read as a critique of women’s roles. As we consider these roles, we can look at Antigone who goes against the established expectations of the woman’s role of the time and stands up to Creon when she thinks he is being wrongful.... [tags: women's role, antigone, oedipus cycle]
1017 words (2.9 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Gender role, Gender, Oedipus, Sophocles]
1433 words (4.1 pages)
- ... Ismene believes that “[she] was born too feeble to contend / against the state,” (Sophocles 4) because of this she cannot go against Creon’s decree and bury Polynices. When Ismene objects to burying Polynices she does so not completely out of cowardice but instead because she believes the rule of man to be equivalent to divine rule. She is not failing to complete her duties as a woman but instead recognizing that her role in divine law, in her mind, is less important to man’s law on Earth. The sisters act as foils of each yet again when they discuss death.... [tags: Oedipus, Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone]
1519 words (4.3 pages)
- Challenges to Male Authority in Sophocles’ play, Antigone In the play Antigone by Sophocles, Creon and Antigone have distinct conflicting values. Antigone first demonstrates feminist logic when she chooses to challenge a powerful male establishment. This establishment is personified by her uncle Creon, who is newly crowned as the King of Thebes. Creon poses to be a major authority figure in a patriarchal society. Creon's regard for the laws of the city causes him to abandon all other beliefs.... [tags: Antigone Essays]
1137 words (3.2 pages)
- In Antigone, The likelihood off it being two Tragic hero characters is unlikely in Greek tragedy, and there is only one in the play Antigone. The king Creon has several of the qualities that constitute a tragic character, but does not have all of the necessary necessities. Antigone, although she is a woman, contains all of the aspects that are required for her to be the main character and a feminine heroine which is seldom seen however there are certain traits, in which are required of a tragic character found in her role.... [tags: Antigone, characters, ]
700 words (2 pages)
- Significance of the Women in Antigone Michael J. O’Brien in the Introduction to Twentieth Century Interpretations of Oedipus Rex, maintains that there is “a good deal of evidence to support this view” that the fifth century playwright was the “educator of his people” and a “teacher” (4). Sophocles in his tragedy Antigone teaches about “morally desirable attitudes and behavior,” (4) and uses a woman as heroine and another woman in a supporting role to do most of the instructing of the audience in this regard.... [tags: Antigone essays]
2494 words (7.1 pages)
- Portrayal of Women in Antigone Although ancient Greece was a male-dominate society, Sophocles' work Antigone, portrays women as being strong and capable of making wise decisions. In this famous tragedy, Sophocles uses the characters Ismene and Antigone to show the different characteristics and roles that woman are typical of interpreting. Traditionally women are characterized as weak and subordinate and Ismene is portrayed in this way. Through the character of Antigone, women finally get to present realistic viewpoints about their character.... [tags: Antigone essays]
834 words (2.4 pages)
- Antigone, a story of broken family ties and conflicting motivations, can be twisted to tell two entirely different stories, and this is what happed when Anouilh rewrote Sophocles' classic. While both Sophocles and Anouilh told the story of Antigone, through subtle changes in the style of the drama, each author was able to produce a product that told a significantly different and intimate tale conducive to their personal or political situation at that time. Structure is one of the various components of the two versions of Antigone that set the pieces apart with just slight alterations.... [tags: Social Issues, Family Ties, Conflicts]
1241 words (3.5 pages)
- Antigone2 Antigone herself represents the highest ideals of human life -- courage and respect for the gods. In the mythical story "Antigone", Antigone first demonstrates feminist logic when she chooses to challenge a powerful male establishment. This establishment is personified by her uncle Creon, who is newly crowned as the King of Thebes, and it is usually challenged by whole city-state. She believed that the law of the gods (to give proper burial rights to every dead body) was more important than the law of the King.... [tags: essays papers]
864 words (2.5 pages)
Ismene’s speech in the beginning of the play stating that women “were not born to contend with men,” (75) while being ruled by male’s “much stronger hands,” (76) supports the idea that Antigone and Ismene’s choices and principles are determined by women’s inferior statuts. Antigone’s desire for women to be considered equal to men inspires her to bury Polynices and proudly declare her defiance to the men of Thebes. Ismene’s original ideologies that women are a subpar sex is seen when she desperately appeals to Antigone not to defy Creon’s authority by burying Polynices. When Ismene later understands Antigone’s aspiration of women being treated as equals to men, she questions Creon’s judgment, which demonstrates her character’s development. Antigone and Ismene, are differently inspired in different ways by Ismene’s “underlings” speech, which enables the characters to express their evolving beliefs on gender.