The Feminist Resilience of Antigone: Gender Norms and Defining Equality
Understanding Feminism in Literature
Feminism is about men and women having equal rights and opportunities. Feminism is the social, economic, and political equality of all genders. In literature, feminism supports the women’s rights movement.
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Antigone: A Feminist Icon
The play Antigone by Sophocles is a feminist text because Antigone does not follow the footsteps of the women before her, and she also defines herself not by gender but by her action and words. In the play “Antigone,” Antigone is known as a strong tragic hero in the Play because of her bravery and boldness with masculinity rather than femininity. She rebels against Creon because of her brother. Her heroic action comes from a place showing the strength of the women. She is willing to die not for her place but for her brother’s honor.
Defying Patriarchy: Antigone’s Stand
In the Play, Antigone decides to bury Polynices even though Creon said not to, and if you do, they will get punished by stone death, but Antigone isn’t scared to die and does what she thought was right for everyone and herself. In the Play, Antigone says, “But I will bury him; and if I must die, I say that this crime is holy; I shall lie down with him in death, I shall be as dear to him as he to me.” This quote shows that Antigone stands up against a man for what she believes in. She is directly defying Creon’s wishes and standing up for herself and her brother.
Antigone’s Bold Admission
The Play explains how Antigone is brave and speaks out to Creon by telling him that Every person deserves equality and to be treated fairly. Antigone was caught for disobeying the law and admitted to it. She took responsibility for her actions and showed the men that she could do anything she desired. Antigone was caught by Creon and asked if she really did burry policies, Antigone answered Creon without hesitation, and she didn’t deny that she did.
She was readied for any consequences even though she knew that it was wrong, but she still went and did it and went against Creon’s orders. “… And you, Antigone, You with your head hanging-do you confess this thing… I do. I deny nothing”. This supports show feminism because it shows that Antigone goes against Creon even though it gets her in big trouble, but she still doesn’t deny it. The author’s choice to show feminism and make Creon a feminist character and Antigone going against him shows that the other intention was to show that everyone deserved equal rights and stand up for what they believed in.
- Sophocles. Antigone.
- Merriam-Webster. “Feminism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary. Retrieved from: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism
- United Nations Women. “Feminism.” UN Women. Retrieved from: https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures
- Hooks, Bell. Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics. South End Press, 2000.