The lone star: Antigone The role that gender plays in the play Antigone

Essay by sidhuggCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2003

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The play Antigone is full of rage, power, and lust. This play shows how one's ego can impair one's judgement. By disregarding women simply because of they their gender is wrong. Being a woman makes a woman weaker because they are fluently labelled as being just "women."

In Antigone, the role played by gender in shaping the conflict between Antigone and Creon is quite significant. This conflict involves two individuals who are very stubborn and headstrong. Antigone believes that nobody takes her seriously because she is just a woman. It is to her understanding that if it was a man that buried her brother; Creon would have looked at the situation differently. Creon does not budge to reverse his decision. This is because he believes if he were to change his decision in order to save her, would have given into a woman. By letting Antigone go, Creon would not be taken seriously as the king by the people of Thebes.

By letting her win, Creon thinks Antigone will take away some of his power, "When I am alive no woman shall rule" (Antigone line 577).

This play is not very feminist. Men are the sole rulers, and woman do not have any say in how the state is being run and what laws are being made. Woman in this play do not play any significant role in their society. Their only task is to be an obedient housewife. Women are regarded as men's possessions. Creon believes the only role the woman play is to produce children. This becomes evident when Creon tells Haemon to forget about Antigone, and that there are other fields to be ploughed. There are, however some characters that show some compassion.

Ismene does not aid her sister in burying her own brother.