Spring 2014 HUM1A
Antigone and Feminism
Feminism was used to get equality between sexes, male and female. The movements were set out to inaugurate, protect, and define equal diplomatic, monetary, cultural, and social rights for women. In Sophocles’ Antigone, the main character had the courage to challenge the King of Thebes. Antigone’s act of rebellion separates herself from the average Greek woman of her time. She presents herself as a strong willed feminist. Sophocles’ Antigone was a story about a young woman who decided to go against the norm. The story began with two brothers, Polyneices and Eteocles, in a war fighting for the ruling of Thebes. The war ended with both brothers resulting in each other’s reason of death. After their death, Antigone was then presented an option, to bury her brother without the king’s consent, or to move on with her life and let the new king, Creon, do as he pleased. Creon felt like Polyneices did not deserve a proper burial because he went against Thebes. In the beginning of the play, Antigone stated “But I will bury him; and If I must die, I say that this crime is holy; I shall lie down with him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as he is to me.” this shows how a woman with morals is standing up for what she believes in. Antigone is challenging Creon’s wishes. According to Amy E. Story’s article, “Antigone suggests a model of social rebellion”. Story also states how Antigone’s actions are a “woman in a masculinist state.” Causing her to interpret the play in a feminist way. Creon later on responds with “ Now if she thus can flout authority, unpunished, I am woman and she is man.” This is a perfect example of how Creon, a man, believes that men are superior to women. He is comparing himself to a woman, saying if he lets Antigone go against him, he will be no better than a mere woman. “No woman shall seduce us. If we must lose, lets lose to a man, at...
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