Antigone Analysis: Introduction
How did people create a concept such as pre-feminism? Why did people read ancient tragedies and perceive those such ideas?Hook:Start the analysis with questions as a hook, this will draw the attention of your reader. The thing is, Sophocles wrote several tragedies long before feminism was a concept. In ancient Greek myths, Gods and Goddesses lived in the mountain Olympus, and men prayed to them for help. A Goddess was superior to immortal men. Subject:Introduce your subject lightly, just mention it in general by defining the overall concepts of your subject. For example, men prayed Athena to win battles. Now, the question is, why did men show respect to the Gods and Goddesses but perceive immortal women as inferior to immortal men. Antigone was one of these immortal women, who showed her bravery against death and King Creon’s law. Sophocles’ Antigone tragedy is seen as a source of the pre-feminism concept. Example:When talking about abstract subject like this, always make sure to give examples so your readers understand better. In this direction, many questions could be formed. Why did Sophocles create a duality between Antigone and Creon? Did he believe in equality between men and women? Question:Before stating your thesis statement, ask questions that will lead your readers to your main argument. Eventually, one may observe that Creon represents the inequality between men and women. However, at the end of his tragedy, justice ensured the utmost equality through karma.Thesis statement:This is the backbone of your analysis and it states your main argument, so you need to present your point.
Body Paragraphs According to Antigone’s tragedy, when Antigone decides to bury his dead brother, she asks Ismene to help her. Topic sentence:This sentence starts by giving clues on what you will talk about in the body paragraph. Both Ismene and Antigone are well aware of burying their brother is against the law and King’s orders. Besides, Ismene says to Antigone that “We must be sensible, remember we are women, we are not born to contend with men.Further detail: Give more detail on the subject you mentioned on your topic sentence, elaborate on it.Then too, we are underlings, ruled by much stronger hands” (Sophocles et al. 22). In this sense, one may interpret that Ismene defines women as sensible and weak against men. Concluding sentence:End you body paragraph with an explanation or an interpretation of a quote from the original work. However, Antigone shows the first ethic of pre-feminism by not listening to her sister Ismene.Topic sentence:This sentence, once again, starts by giving clues on what you will talk about in the body paragraph.
Despite Ismene, Antigone used her strong hands to bury her brother. In other words, she stood against the law. Moreover, she proved that women could contend with men. According to her philosophy, women could be as strong as men. Antigone’s bravery and attitude defined women. In this sense, Antigone might be seen as a hero for women. Also, while Ismene defines women as sensible, Creon defines man with these words “Of course you cannot know a man completely by his character, his principles, sense of judgment, not until he has shown his colors, ruling the people, making laws, experience” (Sophocles et al. 33). Due to his law, men were not allowed to bury Polynice’s dead body. When Creon learned that his principle was broken, he never thought that a woman could break his principle despite strong laws and orders. Sophocles has created pre-feministic ethics on the duality between the characters’ opinions about women. Topic sentence:This sentence, once again, starts by giving clues on what you will talk about in the body paragraph.
When Creon learned Antigone’s crime against his law, that was the first time in history that an immortal woman broke a man’s law. All of the male characters in the tragedy realized that a woman could stand against men. The second pre-feministic ethic in the tragedy was the equality of men and women against death because Antigone was sentenced to a brutal death, which no one could yet survive. A brutal punishment was given to Antigone despite her gender. Antigone believed that God and Goddess traditions are superior to a man’s wounded pride.Topic sentence:This sentence, once again, starts by giving clues on what you will talk about in the body paragraph.
Antigone stood against men with these words “If my present actions strike you as a foolish, let’s just say, I have been accused of folly by a fool,” and after these words, Creon accepted women and man as equals by saying, “I am not the man, not right now: she is the men.” However, he does not accept the superiority of a woman by stating, “While I’m alive, no women will lord over me.” Creon was disgusted by Antigone’s behaviors. According to him, Antigone should have acted like a woman.Topic sentence:This sentence, once again, starts by giving clues on what you will talk about in the body paragraph.
Moreover, Creon tried to poison his son Heamon with his ideas of a woman. Creon said, “Oh, Heamon, never lose your sense of judgment over a woman. The warmth, the rush of pleasure, it all goes cold in your arms. I warn you… A worthless woman in your house, misery in your bed,” and he continued, “Anarchy show me a greater crime in all the earth. She, she destroys cities, rips up houses, and breaks the ranks of spearmen into a headlong rout. Therefore, we must defend the men who lived by the law, never let some women triumph over us. Better to fall from power, if fall we must, in the hands of man¬, never be rated inferior to a woman never” (Sophocles, Viewig 35). However, Heamon disagreed with Creon. Besides, Heamon accused Creon of unjust actions. According to Creon, his son Heamon stood by with his bride. Therefore, he died next to his bride. Heamon chose to die owing to his father’s actions and ideas about women. Also, Sophocles wrote about Oedipus in Colonus, in which, Antigone was described as a man because of the way she took care of her father as if she was a man. Topic sentence:This sentence, once again, starts by giving clues on what you will talk about in the body paragraph.
Even at that time, Creon disgraced the gods. He tried to kidnap Antigone and Ismene. Therefore, Oedipus cursed Creon with the death of his family. Whoever disgraced the Gods and Goddesses was doomed with the unfortunate fate. Zeus and Dike brought justice together. Among Gods and Goddesses, there was equality. Polynices said to her sisters to bury his dead body. On account of Polynices’s last will, he said burying him would give them more glory. Antigone’s and Ismene’s behaviors against Oedipus in Colonus are another pre-feministic ethic because Antigone and Ismene were seen as equal to men. When Creon tried to kidnap both Antigone and Ismene, he mentioned something else. Accordingly, the girls might be kidnapped by others. However, the girls were stronger than Creon’s worries. This may be seen as a pre-feminist ethic as Creon was worried about the girls’ virginity. Nevertheless, Antigone and Ismene did not have fear about that subject as much as Creon. Here, one may interpret that the girls in the storyline do not seem to be as concerned as the others about society’s superstitious approach when it comes to a girl’s virginity. Oedipus and Polynices prayed to the gods and goddesses to protect Antigone and Ismene. Topic sentence:This sentence, once again, starts by giving clues on what you will talk about in the body paragraph.
Therefore, the goddess brought justice after Antigone died. Creon lost both his son and his wife as a result of his actions. However, he tried to prevent it, and he failed because he ignored God and Goddess traditions.
After all, Antigone represents the strengths of women with her bravery, attitude, and actions. Restatement:Restate the main point of your essay, explain what your subject represents and means. Antigone’s tragedy has spread from one person to another, and anyone who read Antigone realized that women could stand against men. When men stood against women with injustice, they somehow lost their superiority. Until Antigone, immortal women had no voice over man. However, in this case, not even death scared Antigone. According to Sophocles, these women were bound with mourn and destiny. There was no happy ending, but there was hope in Antigone’s tragedy that women could win their equal rights one day. Summary: Take some details from the original text, but interpret them to make your point and to reinforce your restatement. Make sure this part is the majority of your conclusion.This paper expressed pre-feministic ethics in both tragedies by Sophocles. Did Sophocles aim for pre-feminism by creating strong women characters? This question will remain unanswered because of Creon’s words about women. Main point:Answer the question “Why?”, explain what is the purpose of this essay. Including questions about the subject is a good practice here. However, there is a duality in Antigone’s tragedy. Women are seen as both strong and inferior against men, and Creon’s ideas about women are humiliating.Concluding sentence:This is your final chance to make a good point about the subject that will stay on the minds of your readers. So definitely include your most important analysis on the subject.
Sophocles, et al. The Theban Plays: King Oedipus. Oedipus at Colonus. Antigone. Penguin, 2003. Sophocles, and Olivia Vieweg. Antigone. Carlsen Verlag, 2019.