Parallels of U.S. Government and Antigone’s Hierarchy
"Can you imagine that, the face of our next President? I mean, she's a woman” (Claire
Cohen). This quote was said by the current President of The United States of America, Donald
Trump. Misogyny isn't a new conviction, it has plagued the world for centuries. Sexism presents
itself as a reoccurring theme within Sophocles’ Antigone, written around 441 BC. Only in the last
hundred years have we seen major changes in the place a woman fills in society. Before the year
1920, women in the United States were basically second-class citizens, they didn't even have the
right to vote. Along with the fact that before the 1950s women were expected to be homemakers,
while their husbands made a living and presented as head of the household. Antigone, set in the
city of Thebes in ancient Greece, presents many of the same struggles for the female characters
Antigone and Ismene. In the play, Antigone finds herself challenging the king Creon and
therefore taxing his manhood. Creon, a man of power, belittles those who challenge that power
much like our President. My literary analysis essay will compare the misogynistic parallels of
our current U.S. Government and Antigone’s hierarchy.
To begin with, men dominate the society that Antigone takes place in. Women play the
role of feeble homemakers and child bearers. Sophocles uses sexism strategically to provide
insight to the societal norms. Ismene is the perfect representation of the male viewpoint
regarding women of the time. Her cowardice is spurred by a fear of men, and how she would fair
if she were to transgress the sovereign's decree and power. She says to her sister “You ought to
realize we are only women, not meant in nature to fight against men, and that we are ruled, by
those who are stronger, to obedience in this and even more painful matters” (Sophocles 70-73).
She knows that the laws Creon created are morally wrong, but refuses to stand up to him. Only in
the last hundred years has the US witnessed women step out of Ismene’s same weak-willed
shoes. Women have emerged from their homes and demanded educations, career eligibility, and
equal rights, all leading up to this last election year with Hillary Clinton being a presidential
candidate. As a woman, she faced harsh criticism from her male candidates on gender alone. Not
only did Clinton fall victim to the sexist words of Trump, “She doesn’t have the look and she
doesn’t have the stamina”(Win McNamee), but so did any female reporters that came his way.
Antigone could be compared to any present day feminist, she took a stand for what she believed
is morally right.
Additionally, Creon feels a safety in his manhood and in his place of power. He is the
king and his people are to follow his orders. He places a lot of weight in punishment for the deed
Antigone has done. “I swear I am no man and she the man if she can win this...