Tragedy In Antigone

1145 Words 5 Pages
Tragedy Tragedy is central to nearly all ancient Greek plays. After all, humans till this day love a dark drama with a disastrous ending; unless it is happening to them of course. The play “Antigone,” first premiering in 441 B.C, will be used to analyze how tragedy affects the cultural values of the Ancient Greeks on topics such as religion/spirituality, gender roles, and family values. Additionally, the play also gives readers an inside look at what attributes were sought after in an Ancient Greek leader, as one desecrates family and religious values will not hold the reign so long in Ancient Greece. In regards to the tragedy that occurred in Antigone, we learn that religion and family values eventually reign over law and authority. However, …show more content…
For instance, when Ismene refuses to help Antigone with the burial, she cites the fact, “You [Antigone] ought to realize we are only women, not meant in nature to fight against men” (70-71). Nonetheless, Antigone goes on with the burial, thus challenging Ismene’s beliefs that women are helpless. Another incident involving the challenged gender roles was when Antigone fearlessly tells Creon that the people of Thebes are not openly showing sympathy for her cause only because they “keep their mouths shut for the fear of you [Creon]” (556). If Ismene were in this situation, she, like many other women in Ancient Greece, would likely take the passive or submissive path and do nothing. In his book, Beye tells the readers that, “men actively participated in the management of the city on many levels” and that they made “ethical and moral decisions affecting a whole society” (104). In Antigone, these decisions were denying the burial of Antigone’s brother, ordering the death sentence for Antigone, and lastly, revoking the previous orders. When one considers Beye’s statements, it is obvious that Antigone challenges Ancient Greek gender roles when she argues with Creon about whether or not burying her brother was a justifiable act. Antigone even mentions that even the Gods were on her side regarding her actions (494-503). Lastly, it is important to mention that according to Beye, a women’s role in Ancient Greece was to give birth and care for children, as well as to manage the house (106). Not to argue with men, especially those who hold such power as Creon

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