Women in Greek drama were often portrayed as sympathetic and forgiving, because they were not to be faced with the burdens of politics, religion, or war. This was not the case for Antigone, who honored her deceased brother, Polynices, through burial rites. She acted against Creon’s illogical reasoning towards Polynices burial rites, because she felt that she had the gods’ upon her side. Antigone should not only be praised for burying her brother, because I would hope anyone would want closure for their deceased family member. Instead she should be praised as a well-educated woman who led an active role in politics and religions; thus, qualifying her as a modern day feminist. She possesses the qualities of individualism, and rises up against tyranny not only for herself, but also for the nation. Antigone is truly a leader not only for herself and others, but also for woman of that time by doing what was right.
In the beginning of the play it becomes evident how women were supposed to act through the actions of Ismene. Ismene is suppose to imitate the ideal Greek wife, but is easily contrasted by the actions of her sister, Antigone. In a heated debate, both sisters defend what they believe is the right thing to do. Ismene argues that the two sisters should stay out of trouble citing the horror their family has been through, “Abhorred, dishonored, self-convinced of sin. Self-slaughtered, both the slayer and the slain.” In the eyes of Ismene it would be better to forgive and forget, and remember that they are women, “we must be sensible. Remember we are women, we are not born to contend with men.”” After telling Antigone that women must not meddle with the affairs of the king’s decree, Antigone feels insulted and comments ruthlessly that Ismene is making a big mistake. “You have your excuses. I am on my way, I’ll raise a mound for him, for my dear brother.” Antigone’s quick departure from Ismene’s opinions shows that she is able to think for herself as an individual and not be swayed by absurd reasons to not carry out her plan.