Antigone: Big Concepts

How Gender Connects to the Characters and Events

Gender related issues appear in Antigone right as you begin reading. For example, while arguing with Antigone, Ismene says "We are only women, we cannot fight with men." (Ismene, Scene I). It is clear that men are dominant in this era. The fact that Creon has all control and his wife, Eurydice, sits back and has no voice at all also shows the issue of gender roles. Creon takes all power and makes all decisions. Men are automatically thought to be strong leaders. Unlike others, Antigone puts this thought aside, she believes that she has every right a man has.

Direct Quotes

"We are only women, we cannot fight with men." (Ismene, Scene I)

"Fool, adolescent fool!, Taken in by a woman!" (Creon, Scene III)

"Let's lose to a man, at least! is a woman stronger than we?" (Creon, Scene III)

Ode IV: speaks of tales that show men taking advantage of women.

"And proud men in old age learn to be wise" (Choragos, Scene V)

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