Throughout the history of ancient Greece, women were treated as second-class citizens in every possible aspect. They were forbidden to own much property, they couldn't vote, or even debate political issues. Women were supposed to obey men, and agree with everything they said and did. They weren't even supposed to leave the house without a man's permission. Their job was to stay home and rear the children. However, in the play Antigone, Antigone goes against the beliefs and defies the powerful tradition of male domination.
In the play, Antigone's life was filled with pain and sorrow. Her father had past away and then her two brothers Eteocles and Polnices fought and ended up killing each other. Even after all of this, Antigone had even more pain to deal with. Although her brother Eteocles had been given a proper burial, which which the gods expected, her brother Polnices had not. This was due to the fact that Antigone's uncle Creon had become king and forbid and decreed against the burial of Polnices. (Sacks 22).
Even though Antigone knows it is against the will of the king, she goes and gives Polnices a proper burial anyway. She acted out of obligation and duty to her family, other women, and the gods. Antigone didn't fear death, but instead faced it with great bravery and strength. She defied a male establishment that was ruled by her own uncle, who was devoted to his law. She did so to remain devoted to her own values and beliefs. During this act of direct defiance of Creon's rule, she says to him, "Sorry, who made this edict? Was it God? Isn't a man's right to burial decreed by divine justice? I don't consider your pronouncements so important that they can just overrule unwritten laws of heaven." (Sophocles 12) Antigone speaks out to Creon to show that she values the laws of God rather than the laws of Creon. .
This out lash and purposeful defiance of King Creon is an absolute defiance of what women were supposed to be in ancient Greece.