Antigone written by Sophocles was a very intriguing book. As opposed to Oedipus I found the book more complex which made it more enjoyable to read. This is particularly because I found Antigone’s character fascinating. Her character is now someone that I admire and aspire to be like. A reason that I admire her is because of her close resemblance to a feminist and her ability to stand up against Creon. Finally making these connections the question of “Who are we” in relation to Antigone arouse.
Antigone is a character that I admired while reading this Greek tragedy. The qualities that I admire in Antigone are her bravery and loyalty to her own values. Her bravery is shown when she breaks Creon’s law to bury her brother; Polynices. Antigone does this because she believes that she is honoring her family and the law of the gods. I like that instead of conforming to the state law she boldly stood up for her family and her values. Even after Antigone is caught she does not ask for sympathy but says some courageous words to Creon;
“And if my present actions strike you as foolish, let’s just say I’ve been accused of folly by a fool” (p.82).
I commend Antigone for having the confidence to stand up to a tyrant even if it means sacrificing her life. Creon’s perspective however is that Antigone has a death wish and worships death;
“There let her pray to the one god she worships – death” (p.100).
He thinks this because he doesn’t understand Antigone’s perspective. Contrary to Creon I sympathize with Antigone and understand her motives. I believe that Antigone is willing to die fighting for a better world than the one she lives in and this is very admirable. Antigone’s traits and actions also make her an early example of a feminist.
In Antigone one theme that connects to our world is sexism. Throughout the play, there are many examples of gender inequality, specifically men vs women. In our world, it is a common view that women are seen as inferior to men and that a woman should not challenge this. This is portrayed in Antigone when Antigone challenges Creon and his laws. Due to Antigone’s actions, she can be viewed and compared to a modern-day feminist. Through bravery, she stands up against Creon who is an example of a misogynist. He does not like the fact that a girl is trying to overrule him, he states that
“ While I’m alive no woman is going to lord it over me” (p. 86).
This is very patriarchal of Creon but it is similar to the ideologies of today’s world. Ismene, Antigone’s sister however has a different perspective on how to act under Creon’s ruling. She would rather conform to Creon’s views because she is too scared to stand up for herself. An example of this is when she is asked to help bury Polynices, Ismene says
“Remember we are women we’re not born to contend with men” (p. 62).
She chooses to adhere to Creon’s rules out of fear and accept her place in society. Making this connection between the world of Antigone and our own world brought up the big question: who are we? As well as who should we be? By this, I mean comparing ourselves to the two sisters in this story. Antigone is a strong-minded, courageous feminist who is willing to die for a bigger cause. Or Ismene who puts her beliefs aside and conforms to other people out of fear. Moving forward, I am going to strive to be more like Antigone.