I really did love this book, and I especially loved Antigone’s character, her sheer boldness and unwavering confidence are traits that make her so easily likeable and even admirable. For a woman of her time to stand up to man of Creon’s status and fight for her right to bury her brother and honour her family name is truly inspiring. Comparing the story of Antigone to that of Oedipus, I found that I preferred Antigone far more. I found it much more exciting and empowering than Oedipus, it was also much more relevant, covering concepts such as feminism, misogyny, religion, justice, and morality.
It very clearly explores the topic of femininity and sexism, and compares women’s expected roles in society, and their actual behaviour. The thing that makes Antigone so powerful is her inherent teenage behaviour. From what we can assume, Antigone is probably around 15 or 16, and anything bad that could happen to her, has already happened, so she really has nothing to lose. This sense of youth and almost immaturity is really what makes her such a politically strong character. And especially at that age, she doesn’t see any other options other than essentially dying for her family’s honour and for what she feels is right, since Creon also expects men to take on a dominant role in society, and women to take more of a submissive role. With this in mind, I strongly believe that had the offender rather been a man that Antigone, he would not have been sentenced to death.
Another major theme in Antigone that I found quite interesting was that of morality. Was Antigone right in defying Creon and burying her brother, even if he betrayed the citizens of Thebes? Or should she have listened to Ismene and let Creon leave his body to decompose? It is also a matter of fate and free choice. While free choice plays a major part in the story, such as her decision to give Polynices a proper burial. However, fate plays an even bigger role. Antigone was not limited by her fate, but rather the knowledge of it.
And finally, Antigone also covers the topic of divine law, meaning law of the gods, and law of man and state. Due to religion being such a prominent part in our main characters lives, religious rules and traditions were promoted to a law status, meaning everyone must follow them. One of these laws stated that all citizens require a proper burial. Creon obviously defies said law which results in our major conflict between Antigone and Creon over each individuals standards of divine law. The only time these two argue over divine law is when it serves their best interests and benefits them.