The Elements of Drama

Elements of drama The character of Sophocles play Antigone is the first Sophocles’ feminist. According to the ancient Greeks, a feminist character faces many odds in the quest of fighting against a male chauvinistic society. Antigone faces a major conflict between her and Creon, the king of Thebes. Creon has passed a decree against the burying of Polyneices as he had betrayed Thebes by waging war against his own country. However, Antigone feels that Creon, despite being the king, has no right of preventing her from burying her brother. She buries her and therefore becomes prone to execution by the laws on the land.
Antigone feels that although Creon is a man, he is weak than she is. This is illustrated in their conversation after burying Polyneices and she is taken to Creon. She literary tells him that she has the power to say no to what she regards as vile and does not have to count any cost of it. She regards Creon as just a ruler who is controlled by the rules just because he ascended to the throne but not because he believes in them. Creon will then have to execute her even if he does not want to in order to abide by the crown. Creon is thus terrified if his action but is unable to act contrary. Antigone reads his fear and proclaims that even if her nails are broken, her finger covered in blood and her arms are wounded, she will still remain a queen. Antigone is terrified at the thought of death but then she is ready to embrace her death as a martyr.
As a feminist, Antigone faces many challenges with her sister. Her encounter with Ismene about the burial of Polyneices leaves her heartbroken. Ismene is a conservative girl who believes in the maintenance of the status quo. When Antigone tells her to join her and bury their brother, Ismene is keen to remind her that the king has ordered a decree against anyone who will be seen burying him. She tells her that their family has suffered enough and was not ready to undergo another tragedy. Ismene reminds her that they are now all alone and therefore should do well in submitting to the law and obey. To Ismene, women must not fight with men. There is a conflict in philosophies at this time and Antigone tells her sister off and vows not to take her help even if she comes begging to offer it. Antigone is determined to defy Creon’s decree and bury her brother even if alone.
Antigone’s conversation with her sister Ismene is fundamental in the analysis of her feminist trait. Ismene questions the role of nature in their lives. She argues that even when pushed, it should not be in their nature to act contrary to the rules in that she cannot literary take up weapons against the city as a woman to fight men. Although Antigone does not believe in her excuse, she realizes that she has to disobey the law of man so as to offer justice to her own family. This argument boils down to the fear of Ismene and her belief that she has the duty of obeying the law of man but Antigone does not believe in upholding the law of man but instead, she believes and upholds the law of the Gods. She believes she has the support of Zeus in burying Polyneices.
Although standing alone against an opposing society is hard, feminists have what it takes to be resilient and optimistic that their actions will impact changes in the society as opposed to accepting the way things are. Antigone is a perfect feminist and is free from the imposition of the laws made by man. She remains a martyr.
Work cited
Sophocles. Antigone. Trans. Robert Fagles. Literature and the Writing Process. Ed. Elizabeth,1912.

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