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Word Count: 1,040
In Sophocles Antigone the title characters gender has profound effects on the meaning of her actions Creon himself says that the need to defeat her is all the more pressing because since she is a woman her rebellion upsets gender roles and hierarchy By refusing to be passive she overturns one of the fundamental rules of her culture Women were subjugated and supposed to be silent spectators to the world around them as mens such as Creons search for power fuels there desire to put women down to lessen the possibility of a threat Antigone is a woman who firmly believed in humanly burying a dead body and whose actions changed the course of Thebian history Her brothers have been slain by each others swords in battle and Creon the king of Thebes has made a decree stating that one brother shall be given an honorable burial for his service to the city while the other will be given no burial because he is considered a traitor to the city of Thebes In Ancient Greece if a person died and was not given a proper burial then their spirit would not be able to pass into Hades Because of this Antigone is determined to give her brother a proper burial At the same time Creon is determined that no one will bury Polyneices and anyone who tries will be condemned to death Creon and Antigones conflicting points of view eventually lead to their own demise As befits her Antigone is a loving and loyal daughter and sister It is precisely this loyalty that makes her an active rather than a static figure Throughout the play Antigone amazingly retains the traditional role of women while at the same time boldly challenging this depiction This is precisely where the conflict between the sexes rises The denial of burial to her brother directly strikes at her family loyalty for it was the privilege and duty of the women
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