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Word Count: 930
Gender Issues in Antigone One of the most devastating problems for the Classical Greeks was the womens issue Women in Classical Greece were not citizens held no property and indeed were not even allowed out of the house except under guard Their status differed from that of the slaves of Greece only in name This alone however was not a problem -- the problem was that the Greeks knew in their hearts that this was wrong Indeed their playwrights harangued them about it from the stage of Athens continually All of the great Grecian playwrights -- Sophocles Euripedes Aristophenes -- dealt with the womens issue All of them argued in their various ways that the women of Greece were not nearly as incapable and weak as the culture believed them to be All of them created female characters of strength and intelligence But in Antigone the discussion reached its peak Antigone herself as she stands upon the Grecian stage represents the highest ideals of human life -- courage and respect for the gods A woman she is nevertheless the exemplum for her society But how are we to know this Does the author let the audience know that it is Antigone herself not Creon the noble-eyed imperator 453 who is to be believed It is almost inconceivable that the audience would be meant to ignore Creons apparently skillful arguments for he appears to represent all that the Athenian should strive for He stands for obedience to the State Surely it is his voice we should obey Sophocles does let us know where the truth lies and he does this amazingly partly through his characterization of Creon Though Creon seemingly says intelligent things there are clues that he is not to be trusted One would be his discussion of incest with Ismene Torn between her duty to God and her duty to the State Ismene in the third act has run to Creon
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