Antigone explores a contrast between the behavior expected of women and the reality of their role in society. Creon expects men to be the primary actors in society and women to take a secondary and subservient role. Opinionated Antigone challenges these notions as she takes center stage and presents formidable challenges to the men around her.
Questions About Women and Femininity
- Discuss Ismene’s perception of her role as a woman in ancient Greek society. Does her behavior match the opinions she voices?
- Why does Creon feel so threatened by Antigone? Does this have anything to do with her womanhood?
- Do Antigone and Ismene fulfill more stereotypically masculine roles than their brothers Eteocles and Polyneices?
Chew on This
Creon gives Antigone a harsh punishment simply because she is a woman; if the law-breaker had been a man, he would not have been sentenced to death.