Sophocles and Ap Analytical Essay

Submitted By simonid
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July 30, 2012
English 12 AP
Analytical Essay In the novel "The Oedipus Cycle" by Sophocles, it is clear that even in ancient Greece women were seen as insignificant creatures that were inferior to men. Women are expected to obey and be subordinate, characters such as Ismene, Eurydice, Jocasta reveal different variations of submission . Antigone, a courageous heroine challenged the law, she rebelled against expectations. Her character is strong, which shines a light on a image that isn't often seen. Society gives men authority, they have the final say, such as Creon; dominant and assertive. Addressing his aristocracy by embedding fear to the people around him. Making people like Ismene feel as if it's forbidden to ever question the king or any of his declarations Antigone and Ismene endured many adversities while staying by their father's side during his exile. They both tended and cared for the old blind man but there is an obvious distinction between the two. When Eteocles and Polyniece died, Antigone wanted to have them both properly buried so that their sprits may rest. But as for Polyniece " No one shall bury him, no shall mourn for him, but his body must lie in the fields, a sweet treasure for carrion birds to find as they search for food" (Sophocles 190). She did not approve of this and took it upon herself well aware of the consequence, to bury her brother's body. Ismene wasn't as bold, even when asked for help she refused to break the law. Though family means very much to both of them Antigone is willing to stand up for what she believes in. In this novel she is the only character that breaks all expectations for her gender. When she was caught and carried to Creon, she did not deny her actions " I do. I deny nothing" (Sophocles 208) . Even when she was close to death she gave no objection and calmly excepted it. Women are expected to be frantic and fragile, this novel portrayed Antigone as a strong character she isn't afraid of men or to challenge authority. She didn't let them control her and because of her individuality she was able to make a difference. Creon sees Polyniece as a traitor and doesn't think that he deserves a proper burial. Men are generally seen as the commander they hold all the power and knowledge. When Haimon offered his advice Creon was reluctant to accept it. Filled with pride he responds to Haimon " You consider it right for a man of my years and experience to go to a school boy?" (Sophocles 220). Creon behaves like what is expected from a man stubborn and prideful. While also believing that people must fear him in order to obey. He feels that if Antigone goes unpunished no one will take his word seriously. In our society it is assumed that we need to address our dominance in order to gain respect particularly for men, when in some cases this isn't true. Haimon even assures his father that " They say no woman has ever, so unreasonably, died so shameful a death for a generous act." (Sophocles 218). Even the people of Thebes feel what she had done was noble. The only reason Creon refuses to lift the penalty is because of his pride, he doesn't want to admit that he was