Reading Antigone, a play written by Sophocles, really made me admire Antigone’s courage and fearlessness in the face of adversity. While first reading the book, I did originally dismiss Ismene, finding her to be cowardice and weak, but as I read more into the play, I quickly realized how apparent the inequality between men and women actually was. I took for granted the improvement of gender equality in the present time, assuming and relating my own experiences back to the play. The lack of equality is made obvious by Creon, “Therefore we must defend the men who live by law, never let some woman triumph over us. Better to fall from power, if we fall, we must, at the hands of a man – never be rated inferior to a woman, never.” (pg.94) These lines reveal Creon’s blatant sexism and his complete denial of women’s right to equality under his law. Creon frequent and casual misogyny, the constantly degradation of women in the play, lead me to see the social conditioning women in the play went through daily.
This new understanding made me grasp Ismene’s decision making and thoughts, her fear of defying Creon and her decision to stand back and Antigone.