Antigone: Masculine And Feminine Roles In Tragedy

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Sophocles led an exemplary lifestyle in ancient Greece. He was a playwright, priest, and even took part in the Sicilian Expedition. As a result of these influential events and professions in his life he followed a traditional view of ancient Greek religion and society in his tragedies. As a result we as an audience get such characters as Antigone who deviates from the role and personality of ancient Greek women. In the tragedy Antigone, Polynices is left unburied and Antigone his sister believes he must be buried because it is the will of the gods. Creon, the king of Thebes, orders that no one will bury the body, but Antigone defies him. Antigone herself is the catalyst for the action and events in the tragedy. She represents a woman who deviates …show more content…
In Greek terms this makes her a masculine woman. Antigone is one of the most important characters in the tragedy. Yet, because she is powerful, and decisive, and refuses to act submissive, she becomes a male symbol. In the language of the play (the original ancient Greek writing) Antigone is referred to frequently throughout the text in the masculine gender and adjectives. In “Masculine and Feminine Roles in Tragedy” Sarah B. Pomeroy believes this adjective placement to be an intentional change which Sophocles meant to make the suggestion that Antigone in her actions was leaving behind her feminine qualities. Antigone even goes so far as to address herself with the male adjectives. The reader can also note that it seems Antigone’s “male” behavior and rebelliousness actions seem to be what gets her punished by Creon, and, in a manner of speaking, is why her fate is …show more content…
One can assume that it would be fairly traditional, and reminiscent of the way Creon viewed the women. He suggests through the blended masculine and feminine nature of Antigone that it would be necessary to have a less polarized structure and structure for gender. By in large Sophocles does stress the traditional roles for women in Antigone. He features them in the form of Ismene, and Eurydice who are traditional Greek women and play smaller roles in comparison to Antigone. She is the main role of women throughout the tragedy and as her masculine portrayal suggests she is powerful and decisive only as a male. She is not female when expressing those

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