Competing Egos in Antigone

In his play Antigone, Sophocles portrays the character of Creon in a multitude of ways but particularly as proud and uncompromising. Because he is ruler of Thebes, many of his actions drive and shape the course of the drama. Significantly, it is also through the voice of Creon that readers can view how women are supposed to function in Theban society: subservient to their male counterparts. Sophocles uses Antigone as the antithesis to this patriarchal view. She is depicted as strikingly similar to Creon in her pride and unwillingness to compromise her beliefs, and as she directly defies Creon she simultaneously defies the accepted role of women in this society. Her unwavering personality eventually leads her to die graciously by her own hand, rather than by Creon’s. This, combined with Creon’s shift from strong and proud to meek and self-loathing, show that Antigone can be read from a feminist perspective—with Antigone’s self-imposed death as the ultimate defiance of Creon and Thebes’s status quo of male superiority.

Over the course of Antigone, Creon’s overbearing sense of pride and belief that women should accept their inferior role in society become clear. For example, when Creon originally finds out that someone had defied...

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