Gender issues in antigone

Women in Classical Greece were not citizens, held no property, and indeed were not even allowed out of the house except under guard.

Gender issues in antigone

Synopsis[ edit ] Prior to the beginning of the play, brothers Eteocles and Polyneices, leading opposite sides in Thebes ' civil war, died fighting each other for the throne.

Creonthe new ruler of Thebes and brother of the former Queen Jocasta, has decided that Eteocles will be honored and Polyneices will be in public shame.

The rebel brother's body will not be sanctified by holy rites and will lie unburied on the battlefield, prey for carrion animals like worms and vultures, the harshest punishment at the time. Antigone and Ismene are the sisters of the dead Polyneices and Eteocles.

In the opening of the play, Antigone brings Ismene outside the palace gates late at night for a secret meeting: Antigone wants to bury Polyneices' body, in defiance of Creon's edict. Ismene refuses to help her, not believing that it will actually be possible to bury their brother, who is under guard, but she is unable to stop Antigone from going to bury her brother herself.

Antigone's family tree Creon enters, along with the chorus of Theban elders. He seeks their support in the days to come and in particular, wants them to back his edict regarding the disposal of Polyneices' body.

The leader of the chorus pledges his support out of deference to Creon. A sentry enters, fearfully reporting that the body has been given funeral rites and a symbolic burial with a thin covering of earth, though no one who actually committed the crime saw this.

Gender issues in antigone

Creon, furious, orders the sentry to find the culprit or face death himself. The sentry leaves, and the chorus sings about honouring the gods, but after a short absence, he returns, bringing Antigone with him.

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The sentry explains that the watchmen uncovered Polyneices' body and then caught Antigone as she did the funeral rituals. Creon questions her after sending the sentry away, and she does not deny what she has done. She argues unflinchingly with Creon about the immorality of the edict and the morality of her actions.

Creon becomes furious, and seeing Ismene upset, thinks she must have known of Antigone's plan. Ismene tries to confess falsely to the crime, wishing to die alongside her sister, but Antigone will not have it.

Creon orders that the two women be temporarily imprisoned. HaemonCreon's son, enters to pledge allegiance to his father, even though he is engaged to Antigone. He initially seems willing to forsake Antigone, but when Haemon gently tries to persuade his father to spare Antigone, claiming that "under cover of darkness the city mourns for the girl", the discussion deteriorates, and the two men are soon bitterly insulting each other.

When Creon threatens to execute Antigone in front of his son, Haemon leaves, vowing never to see Creon again. Creon decides to spare Ismene and to bury Antigone alive in a cave. By not killing her directly, he hopes to pay the minimal respects to the gods.

She is brought out of the house, and this time, she is sorrowful instead of defiant. She expresses her regrets at not having married and dying for following the laws of the gods. She is taken away to her living tomb, with the Leader of the Chorus expressing great sorrow for what is going to happen to her.

Tiresiasthe blind prophet, enters. Tiresias warns Creon that Polyneices should now be urgently buried because the gods are displeased, refusing to accept any sacrifices or prayers from Thebes.

Creon accuses Tiresias of being corrupt. Tiresias responds that because of Creon's mistakes, he will lose "a son of [his] own loins" [2] for the crimes of leaving Polyneices unburied and putting Antigone into the earth he does not say that Antigone should not be condemned to death, only that it is improper to keep a living body underneath the earth.Antigone (/ æ n ˈ t ɪ ɡ ə n i / ann-TIG-ə-nee; Ancient Greek: Ἀντιγόνη) is a tragedy by Sophocles written in or before BC..

Of the three Theban plays Antigone is the third in order of the events depicted in the plays, but it is the first that was written. The play expands on the Theban legend that predates it, and it picks up where Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes ends.

Gender: the Position of Women Antigone's gender has profound effects on the meaning of her actions.

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Creon himself says that the need to defeat her is all the more pressing because she is a woman. insights ias revision tests for upsc civil services preliminary exam – upsc prelims general studies paper 1 – question paper. upsc prelims general studies paper 1 – answer key set d.

Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.

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One of the most devastating problems for the Classical Greeks was the women’s issue. Women in Classical Greece were not citizens, held no property, and indeed were not even allowed out of the house except under guard.

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