Study Guide

Antigone Women and Femininity

Women and Femininity

Antigone is definitely way ahead of her time. Most of the women of her day have no rights at all in their mostly male-dominated society. Girls are supposed to just do whatever their dad says until they get married, and after that they're supposed to do whatever their husband tells them. Throughout her life, we see Antigone defying the system. Instead of her dad, Oedipus, taking care of her, the blind man is totally dependent on her in his final years. She's the strong shoulder that he needs to lean on. Later, when Creon declares that her brother's body can't receive a proper burial, Antigone boldly defies her uncle, though it means her death.

Questions About Women and Femininity

  1. In what ways does Oedipus and Antigone's relationship reverse the expected father/daughter dynamic of the time? In what ways does it remain the same?
  2. Compare and contrast Antigone and Ismene's roles as women. Is one more traditional than the other? Why, or why not?
  3. Why might Antigone's womanhood make Creon feel particularly threatened?
  4. Compare and contrast the story of Antigone with another famous rebellious Greek heroine like Atalanta.
  5. What would it be like if Antigone were born today? Would she have as hard of a time? Explain your answer.

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