In ancient Greece, theater was the most common form of entertainment for people from walks of life. Often, they explored controversial themes and ideas that were popular topics of discussion in Grecian society. Antigone, a work by Sophocles, discussed the importance of gender in ancient Greece and explored the importance of androcentrism. In his work, Antigone, Sophocles enriches his audience's previous knowledge of the Oedipus trilogy by introducing characterization and structure in order to prove themes of cultural relevance. Through the exploration of Sophocles' development and thematic structure, audience engagement is enriched through a new perspective on the old tale.
The role of women in society was a very popular and controversial topic in ancient Grecian society. Woman were not given the liberties, respect, or freedom allotted to the men. They were expected to cook, clean, and bear children, unless they were an oracle of delphi or a woman of high stature.Sophocles uses Greek ideas concerning gender inequality as a conduit to procure subliminal ideas into the mind of his audience. Sophocles characterizes his antagonist Creon in such a way that evokes a feeling of hatred towards the character. Creon, Sophocles' prime example of androcentrism, is firmly rooted in his belief of male dominance. And while he refuses to speak to Antigone directly, he speaks to the only other male figure present; the Senator. Creon states: .
"I have known governed with a slender curb.
It is unseemly that a household drudge.
Should be misproud ; but she was conversant.
with outrage, ever since she passed the bounds.
Laid down by law ; then hard upon that deed.
Comes this, the second outrage, to exult.
And Triumph in her deed, Truly if here.
She wielded such powers uncensured, she is man,.
I woman! Be she of my sister born, .
Or nearer to myself than the whole band .
Of our domestic tutelary Jove." (Sophocles 18). .
Sophocles intends for the audience to pick up on the indirect conversation between Creon and the Senator as an attack on Antigone, the novels very own protagonist and misunderstood heroine.