Antigone Essay on Gender Roles

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Gender roles are basically defined as socially constructed roles that society considers proper to men and women. Gender role plays a big role in this story and in the Greek society as well. The play, “Antigone”, determines that Haimon and Antigone challenge gender roles while Ismene perpetuates.

Haimon stands up for woman and condractics societal gender roles. The quote, “The city would deny it, to a man” (Sophocles 18) states that Haimon is going against the rules of women being basically property or in other words feminism because he thinks that the right thing to do is to vocalize your opinion no matter what ramifications.

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Another example is of when Haimon stands up for women when Creon states “Fool, adolescent fool,taken in by a woman!” Haimon says back “You’ll never see me taken in by a vile” (Sophocles 19). What Haimon is trying to vocalize, is that he thinks that she should be allowed to speak the truth and do as she pleases.

Antigone challenges the gender roles as well. She challenges the stereotypical roles when she say, “Creon is not strong enough to stand in my way”, (Sophocles 2). Antigone is a rebel of all young woman. She is also a foil of Ismene and goes against the rules of society, but for a good reason. She is brave and has passion and fury. Her rebellion upsets gender roles and himarchy due to her actions in the play. Antigone challenged gender roles to a higher extent when she speaks to Creon. “I do. I deny nothing” (Sophocles 11) Antigone, unfailingly, vocalizes the truth and is passionate towards other individuals. She speaks with honor and wants to die as a person who changed society and not die miserably.

Ismene perpetuates gender roles because she thinks she has no power. She says, “We are only women. We cannot fight with men Antigone” (Sophocles 2). This quote from Ismene suggest that she thinks that she is weaker or less of an individual than men since she is the opposite sex, and because of that, she and her sister Anigone shoud just follow Creons rules. Also, Ismene submits herself to these roles by stating, “I have no strength to break laws that were amde for the public good”, (Sophocles 2). She is stating that she has no power over men since she is a women. She thinks that she can’t stand up for whats right and what she belives in becuase of her gender.

Throughout the story, “Antigone”, Haimon and Antigone go againsts and fight common gender roles, while Ismene follows and goes with the gender roles. This goes to show that Ancient Greek culture, the men were much more powerful than women in general. Antigone and Ismene were considered weak and unimportant in that time period. Ismene believes that she should not act upon the situation because she is just a woman. Antigone on the other hand wants to challenge that concept and is willing to act against Creon and bury her brother anyway doing what woman should not do or even think of doing in the first place. 

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Antigone Essay on Gender Roles. (2021, Apr 16). Retrieved from