Gender Roles In Antigone

2045 Words 9 Pages
The classic tragedy of Antigone allows readers to follow the tragic destiny of Antigone, the ill-fated daughter of Oedipus. Throughout Antigone female gender roles are constantly spoken of in contradictory ways, posing a powerful debate about what it means to be a female. The Greek tragedy of Antigone presents a battle of opinions on traditional female gender roles; Creon supports the traditional female gender roles through his demeaning view and words he expresses towards women, which is contrasted by Antigone’s strong actions of bravery and her quest for freedom from the chains of grief as well as Ismene’s transition of ideology on how women should behave. The debate of female gender roles presented proves to be important due to the fact …show more content…
After investigating Antgione, Creon talks to the guards about the behavior of Antigone and Ismene, insisting they are tied up: “From now on they’ll act like women. Tie them up, no more running loose; even the bravest will cut and run, once they see Death coming for their lives” (652-655). In this passage, Creon’s disdain towards the sisters can be seen. When he expresses that the women will run away when they see Death coming towards them, it shows his low opinion of the strength and power of women. Creon believes Ismene and Antigone are not acting like women because they are stating their opinion, and his solution to make them act like women is to tie them up. The use of the phrase, “tie them up” shows Creon’s belief that women should be constrained and not given free will. The act of tying someone up takes away all of their freedom, which can imply that Creon is feeling threatened by the power Antigone and Ismene encompass. Creon also refers to Antigone and Ismene as “running loose”, when if fact they are just trying to honor their brother and family. The idea of the sisters “running loose” makes them seem undisciplined and psychotic. Creon’s idea of how women should act comes from his desire for power and need for …show more content…
Antigone looks to free herself and family from the cycle of misery and pain. To do so she takes on the responsibility of honoring her family, which is traditionally seen by male figures, especially in Greek dramas. Antigone takes on this role with confidence and grace, which leads to her standing up to Creon later on. Antigone takes on a modern female gender role, which is fully expressed when she stands up to Creon on her view of honoring her brother. She is not afraid to admit that she went against the law of Thebes by burying a “traitor”; instead she openly admits it: “I did it. I don’t deny a thing” (492). She does not become the timid, submissive woman that Creon expects her to be. She fights the idea of how women can and should act, while standing up for her family and what she believes in. Antigone believes that her brother deserves the same burial as any one else would, even though he is considered a traitor. She fights for this and expresses this view to Creon: “No matter-Death longs for the same rites for all” (584). Although in this passage she is referring to death rites for her brother Polynices, it can also be interpreted as equal death rites for men and women. This presents the idea that in death men and women are equal, rather than women being below men. With the idea of death on Antigone’s

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