Creon and MisogynyFind specific lines that indicate Creon’s misogyny.  What do they say about his character and ability to lead?

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jamie-wheeler's profile pic

Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

Wow!  I hadn't caught that last one about making anarchy feminine.  Sadly, it doesn't surprise me.  Though it goes to show how short sighted men in the play are:  it wasn't Antigone who caused the anarchy Creon rails against; rather, it was Creon's defiance of the laws of the gods when he refuses to allow Polynices to be buried.  If one goes back even farther, it was never a woman who began the troubles.  Oedipus' father tried to escape the fate of the Oracle by trying to kill his infant son.  Oedpius tries to thwart his own fate by moving to Thebes.  Polynices and Etocles war with one another over power and loyalty.  Geez....

Here's the link to the Oedipul family history if anyone needs a reminder of the players and events:

http://blogs.enotes.com/literature-101/2007-11/whos-whothe-scoop-on-antigone-her-family/

 

malibrarian's profile pic

malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

We can see this misogyny when he has Antigone brought to him to answer charges that she buried Polyneices. He is threatened by her - by the thought that she would disobey him, being a "proud girl, in insolence well-schooled." He says that if she remains "Unpunished, I am woman, she the man." How awful...to be considered a weak and womanish ruler! Later, right before Ismene comes in, he tells Antigone, "Die then, and love the dead if thou must; No woman shall be the master while I live."

Re: Ismene - Creon calls her in and instantly assumes that she is also a "viper unperceived," like Antigone, and that she helped Antigone bury Polyneices. Of course, this might not be misogyny so much as paranoia, but I wondered if Ismene had been a man (another brother to Antigone), would he have reacted the same way?

One thing I found fascinating, and that ties in nicely to a previous question concerning what Creon fears the most, is that when he personifies Anarchy, he refers to Anarchy as a female:

"What evils are not wrought by Anarchy!
She ruins States, and overthrows home,
She dissipates and routes the embattled host;
While discipline preserves the ordered ranks."

Something he hates and fears the most - Anarchy - he makes into a woman.

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