Antigone Gender Roles

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Ancient Grecian women lived in a harsh misogynistic society, playing a subordinate role in the lives of the Grecian men. The Greek tragedy “Antigone” by Sophocles demonstrates the contrasting roles women play in society and the consequences that follow. Women were subjugated and supposed to be silent spectators to the world around them. Female characters in this tragic play represent the contradicting actions towards the expected gender role of women. Ismene is portrayed as a traditional woman; characterized as weak and submissive. Through the character of Antigone, the role of a strong and sensible woman is illustrated. Although Creon is the dominant, chauvinist male lead in this play, his wife Eurydice evolves from the stereotypical Grecian female to a woman who defies her husband. The characters opposing personalities, demeanours, and choices throughout the play can be directly associated to their death or survival in this tragic play. The freedom of Greek women was extremely restricted; the decrees and strictures…show more content…
While females such as Ismene come across as timid or afraid of the more powerful males, Antigone is illustrated as the opposite; a strong and sensible woman. Even at the risk of challenging men’s authority and ignoring her sister’s plea, Antigone is determined to give her brother the honor of a proper burial. After the burial of Polynices, Antigone defiantly states, “I did it. I don’t deny a thing,” while being interrogated by Creon (443) and later comments that she has “no shame in having respect for a brother.” (511) Antigone becomes a symbol of what women can do in a misogynistic society even if she has to give her life, she “will have a noble death” (72). Antigone becomes more than a feminist, and embraces the idea that contingency and condition does not define human beings, regardless of

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