Please help me analyze the Greek passion in Antigone in regards to democracy, God, and marital life.

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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I'm not sure exactly what your question is, but here's what I can make of it.

Ancient Greek culture was broken up into two categories: Free people and Slaves.  Later, as society evolved, Free Greeks were divided into Citizens and Metics.  According to my notes:

A citizen was born with Athenian parents and were the most powerful group, that could take part in the government of the Polis. After compulsory service in the army they were expected to be government officials and take part in Jury Service. A metic was of foreign birth that had migrated to Athens, to either trade or practice a craft. A metic had to pay taxes and sometimes required to serve in the army. However, they could never achieve full right s of a Citizen, neither could they own houses or land and were not allowed to speak in law courts.

Ancient Greek society was a complete Patriarchy:

The social classes applied to men only, as women all took their social and legal status from their husband or their male partner. Women in ancient Greece were not permitted to take part in public life.

Here's how men were viewed by themselves and in comparison to gods (their ideals):

“The note here is one of humility and resignation: Man is no more than grass, in comparison with God." --H. D. F. Kitto, The Greeks

So, if men are viewed as no more than grass, how are women viewed?  As below grass?  Dirt?  Worms?

When viewed through the lens of Antigone, Sophocles subverts the cultural values of the traditional Greek system, especially when it comes to women: Antigone takes the moral high ground from the male King.  Do the gods not choose Antigone to speak for them instead of their King?

Antigone and Ismene are both unmarried.  Antigone should be powerless, like Ismene, both because she is a woman and because she is unmarried.  She such be a princess, since her father was king and her uncle is now.  But, she does not rely on traditional status as a woman or a princess to define herself.  Instead, she is a kind of holy sister and priestess--one who performs the will of the gods.

Her passionate duty is to the dead, her brother, and the gods.  She openly defies both the male and the King in Creon.  She openly refuses to be married to Haemon, choosing to perish inside a cave than be given status afforded her as a princess.  As such, she is a Romantic heroine: a Gothic rebel.  She has the same death wish that the Romantic spirit of rebellion cherishes.

As such, Antigone is a modern, humanistic, and feminist character--light years ahead of her time.  She belongs more to the 20th Century than the ancient Greek civilization.

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