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Themes

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

  1. Discuss Ismene’s perception of her role as a woman in ancient Greek society. Does her behavior match the opinions she voices?
  2. Why does Creon feel so threatened by Antigone? Does this have anything to do with her womanhood?
  3. Do Antigone and Ismene fulfill more stereotypically masculine roles than their brothers Eteocles and Polyneices?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

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.

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