Through the many centuries and numerous civilizations, men have clearly taken the role as dominator. For many generations of men, their names and property pass down to an eligible male member of the family. Those men that favor these hierarchical systems are Patriarchies. Patriarchy refers to a social situation where men are dominant over women in wealth, status and power. Antigone, a Greek tragedy by Sophocles, is a classic example of patriarchy. The drama tells of how a daughter of Oedipus, Antigone, rebels against the civil law of a single man, Creon. Every word and action Antigone makes affects the system of patriarchy. In the tragedy, Antigone egoistically violates Creons law, causing her own disrepute downfall.
In the beginning Scene, Antigone relates her plans of burying her brother, Polyneices, to her sister. No person was to bury Polyneices for the penalty was a public stoning to death. Ismene, Antigones sister, pleads Antigone to refrain from her he plans for they were only women. When Antigone declines her sisters begging, Ismene claims that she will keep it secret. However, Antigone unkindly informs Ismene that she wants Ismene to tell, Oh tell it! Tell everyone! Think how theyll hate you when it comes out (1024). Because of Ismenes refusal to help, Antigone unfairly turns against her own sister. Antigone thought only of her own desires. Antigones cruelty sealed Ismenes fate the moment that she told her.
After giving Polyneices a decent burial, Antigone was caught and taken to see Creon. Creon was surprised that a women, let alone Antigone, would break his decree. Creon and Antigone argue back and forth about who is vindicated. Antigone stubbornly would not give into Creons reasoning. She was so derogatory, she thought she thought she should be honored, I should have praise and honor for what I have done. All these men here would praise me (1036) Antigone foolishly believed that she could gain the support of the people, but as Antigone herself said, the people were too afraid of the law. Antigone believed she was above the law of man, when the law of man states that she was below them. Antigone was too sure that she would win over the law, but then her plan failed her.
Creon sentenced Antigone to imprisonment, to live alone until starvation eventually kill her. After all that Antigone argued for, she contradicted her actions by pleading to be set free. She even cried out to for her shameful death to gain support, Now sleepy death summons me down to Acheron, that cold shore (1047) Antigone wanted others to pity her and morn for her. Antigone spoke as if it was not her own doing that set forth the untimely demise of her sister, her fiance, and herself. Unwilling to except her outcome and in her final effort to defy Creon, Antigone hung herself.
In the End Creon would come to except Antigone, but it was already too late. Antigone proved unwise and stubborn until the end. Patriarchy was too strong a force for Antigone overcome. Systematically mans law won over that of a women.