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Challenging Male Authority in the play Antigone.

             In the play, Antigone by Sophocles, Creon and Antigone have distinct conflicting values. Antigone first demonstrates her feministic beliefs when she chooses to challenge a powerful male establishment. This establishment is headed by her uncle Creon, who has just recently been crowned the King of Thebes. Creon poses to be dominant male in a patriarchal society. Creon's regard for the laws of the city causes him to abandon all other beliefs and he feels that all people should obey the laws set forth by him, even if other beliefs, morals or religions, state otherwise. Antigone, on the other hand, believes in Gods and the rules that they set forth. She feels that the laws of the gods should be obeyed above all others, especially in respect to family. The bold, defiant character of Antigone clearly clashed with the patriarchal dominance of Creon. This collision between characters gave rise to conflict and the battle of the sexes in Antigone. All this can be summarized through Antigone's disobedience, patriarchal beliefs of the king and society, Ismene and Antigone's clashing views, and the passage of patriarchal society from Creon to Haemon.
             The denial to bury Polynices strikes directly at Antigone's family loyalty. This enormous sense of loyalty makes her simultaneously violate and omit to the duty of women at the time. It is precisely this loyalty that makes her an active figure in her uncle's society as well. Antigone herself represents the highest ideals of human life: courage and respect for the gods. She believed that the law of the gods, which dictates that a body be given proper burial rights, was more important than the law of the King. Throughout the play, Antigone somehow manages to retain the traditional role of woman, while at the same time challenging the patriarchal depiction of what a woman should be. The challenge occurs as both a defiance of Creon's laws when Antigone buries Polynices and as a direct verbal assault on Creon himself.

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