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Discuss the Role of the Conflict Between Antigone and Creon Reinforcing the Ideas About Women's Roles in Ancient Greek Society as Portrayed by Sophocles in the Play "Antigone"

  • Date Submitted: 01/26/2013 07:33 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 54.1 
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Sophocles play Antigone dramatises women's roles in Ancient Greek society as portrayed by the conflict between the central characters Antigone and Creon.   Sophocles both empowers and belittles by challenging the audiences view on the roles in which women play in society by using Antigone the protagonist as an extended metaphor and the chorus to guide the audience.
Antigone juxtaposes Ancient Greek views on women's roles in society and is therefore used as an example of the consequences of stepping outside of those roles. Women in Greek drama were usually portrayed as sympathetic and forgiving, because they were not to be faced with the burdens of politics and war. However Antigone is depicted with more masculine character traits which brings her closer to being a males equal. Ismene however Antigone's sister is seen as a typical Greek women displaying submission and bending to the "institutionalized power of men"(Sophocles pg.7) and is used as a foil for Antigone. Antigone is then highlighted as being headstrong and even ignorant for even thinking about defying Creon as it reminds the audience of the patriarchal society which Antigone is rebelling against. In Greek Society women where suppress for their own protection as it stopped them from being potential prey of rapists and seducers. The fact the Ismene survives and only suffers the loss of her head strong sister is Sophocles suggesting that if women where to act as Ismene, submissive and follow the rules of the state, it would limit the suffering in their lives.
Sophocles uses Antigone to display how ignorant Ancient Greek women where in political and judicial affairs. Antigone "dared to disobey the law" (pg. 21) due to her undying love for her family and the respect she holds for death and the "laws of god"(pg. 21). She claims that "natural justice"(pg.21) is more powerful than the laws of Creon. This is linked to one of the main roles which women played a part in Ancient Greek society which was religious...


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