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SOPHOCLES’S ANTIGONE: A FEMINIST REPRESENTATION

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A woman who rebelled against a distinctively patriarchal, male-dominated Greek society. A woman who defied the orders of the King to follow her heart. A woman who acted in accordance with her sense of right and wrong. A woman with great reverence for relationships and an even greater allegiance towards family values. Such a woman deserves applause. A rebel. A legend. An example. A woman. Antigone.

Sophocles’ Antigone has as its backdrop a very rigid and conservative Greek society and Greek culture when it was certainly against the norm of a typical ancient Greek woman to rebel against a male authority. And therein lies the reason to believe that Sophocles’ protagonist in Antigone showed signs of early feminism. Antigone dared to raise her voice against a patriarchal order at a time when women in ancient Greece were generally fearful that rebellion against male authority would lead to unfortunate circumstances.

My paper celebrates both: the woman in Antigone, and the feminist.

Keywords – woman, patriarchal, society, Greek, rebel


For a homage she thought was rightly deserved
she practiced her devotion,
and till the corpses both were out of sight
hung fiercely to the notion
that those who’ve died deserve as much respect
as those who carry on,
but who can blame survivors who suspect
that she, like Metatron,
would like to be the one who’s in control?
She crosses that fine border
that circumscribes the playing field whose goal
is set for law and order.

The ancient Greek culture when deeply examined reveals much turmoil on the basis of gender rights and personal roles within the society, as examined by Aristophanes, Plato, Bingen, and Pizan, each seemingly ahead of his or her time with respect to femini...


... middle of paper ...


...ven in death shows that she had a strong heart and solid mind. She was not willing to let go of what was most important to her. Furthermore, in saying that she would not have performed this deed for her husband or children, she is denouncing her traditional gender role as a female whose only purpose was to become a loving wife and mother. Antigone’s expression of her independent spirit is what makes her stand out as an ancient literary feminist and martyr. Antigone’s legacy will live on, and provide inspiration to many other rebels to stand up for their
rights and everything they believe is correct. Antigone's strong feminist stance in defying a patriarchal tyrant shows how individualistic ideas and actions can be very effectual.

Works Cited

Diner, Hellen. Mothers and Amazons: The First Feminine History of Culture. (New York. Doubleday Anchor Books. 1973)



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