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Literature and the Role of the Early Feminist

            In ancient Greece, a famous playwright, Sophocles, wrote what became a classic play. Antigone is a play over the burial plans of their brother, Polynices. This play differs from many other plays of the time because it is the first to have a female as a protagonist. Not only is this character a female, but someone who is strong, intelligent, moral, and brave. This provides a clue as to Sophocles' views on this topic of women. Sophocles demonstrates an affinity for feminist values in his play Antigone, which portrays its female characters as more motivated, morally upright, and braver than their male counterparts.
             Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, challenges the order of Creon, King of Thebes. She is convinced that burial rights are unwritten rules of the Gods no matter what their political views might be. Antigone states, "I know I please the souls I seek to please" (Sophocles Antigone 103). Here Antigone knows that giving her brother a proper burial is the right action to take even though Creon has created a law against it. Antigone is motivated to follow what she believes is the right course, regardless of the law. She believes that following the God's law is more important than that of an earthly king. Sophocles creates this female character that shows this strong motivation, thus giving us insight into what he believes a woman's role can be. .
             Additionally, Sophocles makes Antigone morally upright. Sophocles achieve this by giving her the principles of right and wrong behavior. Throughout the play, Antigone makes it obvious that she thinks little of Creon, since he is putting himself above the law of the Gods. Antigone mentions, " I have longer to please the dead than please the living here do as you like to dishonor the laws of the gods hold in honor" (88-92). Antigone is convinced that no punishment Creon could offer would be worse than what the Gods would do if she does not bury her brother.

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