Antigone's gender has profound effects on the meaning of her actions.
Creon himself says that the need to defeat her is all the more pressing because she is a woman.
Indeed, at the beginning of the play he frequently comments on his desire to do what's best for Thebes and gains the confidence of both Haemon and the Chorus of Elders, who say that they will follow him if that is his goal.
And though he continues to reprise this theme, Creon is clearly more concerned with preserving certain values of law rather than the good of the city.
When faced with a choice that would preserve 'tradition' or his own interpretation of the rule of law vs.
a more progressive approach that does not follow precedent but clearly benefits Thebans, he chooses the former.
rewritten during the Second World War became one of the most powerful texts of resistance against the Nazis.
The conflict between the individual and the power of the state was as pressing for Greek audiences as it is to modern ones.
These three conflicts are very closely related, but this crude set of pairings helps to untangle some of the central issues of the play.
Antigone and her values line up with the first entity in each pair, while Creon and his values line up with the second.