Women have always been inferior to men. In one of Sopholes" most popular plays, Antigone, the female heroine, Antigone, suffers this unfortunate conception. In the play, she is a strong willed, determined woman who chose to stand up for her beliefs and whom challenges the most powerful man in this male dominated society. Creon, Antigone's uncle and king of Thebes holds absolute control over the laws of the state, and consequently, the lives of the people who live on that land. However, Antigone was not intimidated by all the power her uncle possessed, and instead opted to disobey him. After deliberate orders to leave Antigone's brother Polynices" dead body to rot for the wild beasts to feed on, she went on to give her brother a proper burial. Antigone describes the difficulties, challenges, and consequences that women had to face up with in the ancient Greek society.
To upset the hierarchy was utterly horrible, but for a women to disobey, that was unheard of. "What man alive would dare-- ?" In Ancient Greece, freedom and rules were structured and very strict. Antigone, being her own free spirit, could not stick to these limits. Her rebellion against the male theocracy became all the more pressing because of her gender. Says Creon:.
We must defend the men who live by law, .
Never let some woman triumph over us. (757-756).
Creon's desire to triumph over Antigone is brought about by his pride. Being defeated by a woman is unthinkable and would give him utmost embarrassment.
On the other hand, the argument that transpired between Antigone and Ismene provides a contrast of what the typical female was as compared to Antigone. Ismene, powerless and submissive, provides a stark contrast to her strong and aggressive sister. Although Polynices" dead, rotting corpse is something Ismene was saddened by, she doesn"t do anything physical, and accepts King Creon's decision. Says Ismene:.
I"d do them (Ismene's deceased family) no dishonor .