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Antigone Essays

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If you were told not so do something, even if you thought it was ethically right, would you continue to do so? This question lingers and weaves its way through all the character’s in Sophocles’ Antigone. This great Greek tragedy expresses many different and difficult emotions that are often suppressed in daily life. Throughout this specific Greek tragedy, the audience experiences a catharsis, meaning a release or cleanse from emotions. Our emotional response to the fate of the characters becomes a way for the audience to come to terms with the power and limits of their own actions. Clearly shown in the play, as well as in the real world, tragedy can lead people to become the person that they were meant to be, just as Antigone did; she demanded true justice and eventually conquered it. Between Antigone and Kreon, I can empathize with the choice of Antigone’s death, because she was following her personal moral law and showed family loyalty, however, this moral law fell short as her flaws can be seen as hypocritical as she abandoned family bonds and broke some of her own personal ethics.

Throughout the actions of Antigone, we see that she is a strong headed woman who follows her personal moral law until the end. Antigone faces many conflicts, especially the fundamental conflict of value. She decides that it is more significant to stick to what she believes is right, rather than obey by the king’s horrible rule to not bury her own brother, Polyneices. Antigone knew the consequences she would face while on her pursuit of following her moral laws. While arguing with Ismene, her sister, she proclaimed “to me it’s fine to die performing such a deed. I’ll lie there, dear to him, with my dear friend, when I’ve performed this crime of piety,” (Sophocles 72). As suicidal as Antigone’s actions were, I dearly respect her passionate determination to risk her life for the sake of doing what she is following her ethical instincts. Another reason I emotionally respond more to Antigone’s fate is because she was devoted to her family loyalty. Knowing what the outcomes were going to be of defying the king’s law, Antigone dedicated her life to mourn her brother properly. “I shall go heap up earth into a tomb to bury him, my dearest brother,” (Sophocles 80), Antigone cries to Ismene. Even after death, Antigone will never desert her brother. Thus, I deeply admire Antigone’s will to not compromise her moral and ethical laws and bend to the king’s rule if it means breaking the law of the gods.

On the other hand, Antigone’s actions had some flaws in it. During Antigone’s path to find righteousness for her brother, her moral law of family loyalty could be seen as falling short. In demand of true justice, she had to disobey the king, meaning challenging her uncle and she abandoned her sister for the sake of her dead brother. We see this in the scene where Antigone finds out about the decree and blatantly defies Kreon. She states to Ismene “yes, bury my own brother- and yours too- if you’re not willing. I will not be caught in treachery,” (Sophocles 45). Not only was she going against the king, Antigone left her sister on her quest for justice. Nothing was getting in Antigone’s way to do what she thought was right. Whether Antigone was breaking the laws or leaving behind her family, she felt the need to break the laws to honor her already dishonored family. However, Antigone proudly respected her fate as it was known from the start and she pursued what she needed to do to in order to fulfill her good life.

Moreover, the audience also gets to see the progression of Kreon’s rule. Kreon’s fate is unemotional, nor reasonable as he sentenced Antigone to her death. He is a complete tyrant as he is a leader who shows off the power and pride of the state entirely with himself. Kreon embedded his own rights and rules throughout Thebes by his own will, rather than for the good of his people. While arguing with his son, Haimon, Kreon explained that he believed that whoever is chosen to govern Thebes should and needs to be obeyed, no matter what. Kreon’s argument rests on his idea that the king should always be obeyed, whether they are right or wrong. In his head, nothing is higher than the law of the city, and since the king’s word is the law, his demand is that Antigone, even if it is his own niece, must be punished to the full extent. Another reason I do not sympathize for Kreon is due to his subtle sexism. Kreon has strict thoughts of believing that he is a man in power, so to his surprise not only his niece, but a woman, has defied him. Angry and annoyed, he yells “it’s clear enough that I’m no man, she’s the man, if she can get away with holding power like this. No, whether she’s my sister’s child… she won’t escape from the most evil doom,” (Sophocles 484-488). At this point, the audience can see that Kreon fears being challenged, but fears it even more that a woman, in his own family, has done the deed. One could try to argue that, like Antigone, Kreon was following his own moral law. However, blinded to his own stubbornness, Kreon attacks and punishes Antigone for denying his authority and for her unwillingness to submit to his will.

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The Images Of Antigone And Creon In The Play By Sophocles

In Sophocles’ Antigone, neither Antigone’s nor Kreon’s actions are truly defined as purely admirable or moralistically sound. However, Antigone, the tragic heroine, embodies the idea of truly fighting for what she believes to be socially acceptable, which is indeed treating the dead with the upmost respect. Despite the potential dangers that may arise as Antigone fights for her brother, Polyneices, to have a proper burial, her stubborn front and unfailing determination yield her to not give up against the coarse...
3 Pages 1246 Words

Sophocles' Play Antigone: The Role Of Females

Throughout the development of humanity, there has been a controversial perspective on the roles and characteristics that men and women should possess. The inequality that lays within the midst of this perspective has led to gender bias and persecution of women over the course of our history. The mistreatment of women has been recorded through the passage of knowledge, and many philosophers have created fictional characters and story lines to shed light on the trials and tribulations fought silently by...
2 Pages 834 Words

A Controversy In Philosophical Beliefs In Play Antigone

‘Antigone’, the play begins along with a time of catastrophe and dilemma in the city of Therbes and its ruling family. A clash between brothers ends with the death of the young king, Eteocles, by the hands of his very own brother, Polyneices, the person who stood at the head of the attacking army. Presently, after the death of Eteocles, Creon, the uncle of said late brothers, takes the throne and becomes king. As he also announces that Eteolces will...
2 Pages 1043 Words

Themes Of Justice And Revenge In Medea And Antigone

Justice is a theme present in most in Greek Literature, to punish one’s actions or words that are considered wrong or to uphold ideals seen as good. Justice is used to instil that wrongs in society are stopped, and rights will be upheld. Revenge is the act of committing a harmful action towards a person or a group in response to a grievance however in many cases revenge can be seen as justice. While Medea and Antigone are alike in...
2 Pages 1010 Words

The Image Of Woman In Antigone by Sophocles

Morality is often regarded as objective, completely black and white. Although, the circumstances and consequences of actions broaden the picture and allow for condemnation or justification. Accusations of the extreme are polluted by one’s surroundings. The contextual power of culture and ingrained tradition supports multiple interpretations of morality. Sophocles’ Antigone demonstrates this truth. The understanding of women as inferior and undeserving of a voice is essential to the recognition of Antigone’s role in her society. The patriarchal system of Antigone’s...
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Analysis of Fallacies and Rhetorical Strategies in Antigone

Identifying logical fallacies and rhetorical techniques in a work is essential to understand its argument and overall persuasiveness. In Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone, he emphasizes a higher power that transcends the laws of human civilization. In the tragedy, sisters Antigone and Ismene argue over the proper burial for their brother Polyneices. Creon, the new king, wants to punish Polyneices for his disloyalty and let his body rot, unburied. Antigone is outraged by this and believes it is intrinsically immoral to leave...
3 Pages 1430 Words

The Consequences Of The Power Of Love In Medea And Antigone

In modern-day societies, love is usually viewed as an amazing feeling with only positive traits attributed to this feeling. Many people fail to realize – or choose to ignore – the negative parts of this feeling of love, which can be a powerful and dangerous source of motivation for all living creatures. In Antigone by Sophocles and Medea by Euripides, love is seen through the characters’ love of power, self-love, and the more traditional use of love, love for others....
4 Pages 1752 Words

Fear and Justice: Downfall Of The Tragic Hero In Sophocles’ Antigone

In the tragedies we read, the downfall of the tragic heroes was due to their fear of weakness and the consequential justice that lead to their deaths. Death, a common trait in all tragedies, shows that as humans, the protagonists’ folly leads to drastic consequences in the unforeseeable future. Examples of fear and justice in tragic stories are that peripeteia typically occurred out of the hero’s own fear of seeming weak or paranoia, the common attribute of the tragic heroes...
1 Page 573 Words

Creon Tragic Hero Essay: Analysis Of Sophocles’ Antigone

Throughout the centuries, history has given society people whom one can call a hero. There are ongoing reasons why these heroes have been given a special title and looked upon: bravery, determination, agility, inspiration, or confidence. However, a tragic hero carries different characteristics and traits. Aristotle argued that tragic heroes meet five standards. In Sophocles’ Antigone, King Creon exemplifies all five qualities of a tragic hero. Although many might believe there are different tragic heroes seen in the Greek drama,...
1 Page 646 Words

Antigone Tragic Hero: Analytical Essay

A tragic hero may be a character having heroic characteristics, like leadership, courage, or determination, including a tragic ending, generally death. These are not stories with ‘happily ever after’ endings that we tend to square measure acquainted with nowadays. Greek tragedies square measure several the foremost well-known stories with tragic heroes. The mythical being plays square measure several the foremost studied of the Greek tragedies, notably mythical being. mythical being ends in an exceedingly complete tragedy wherever mythical being is...
1 Page 578 Words

Creon as The Tragic Hero in Aristotle's Antigone

Creon out of his pride kills his own wife and son out of selfishness which make him a true tragic hero. Creon is a character who so caught up with what others think. Creon is isolated character who keeps to himself his plans and acts. He is very misleading character tries to lead others to crime. Creon faces dishonesty from others and sees the true character of people he thought he could trust. Creon as the protagonist with his stubborn...
2 Pages 904 Words

Masculinity In Classical Greece Plays Antigone And Lysistrata

Women stepping into the masculine role is exemplified in both Sophocles’ “Antigone” and Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. In response to the men’s inability to fulfill their duties, these dynamic characters take on the masculine role to fill the void. Antigone must burry her brother against Creon’s demands when he refuses to perform the proper ritual rites. Lysistrata seeks to stop the war and takes matters into her own hands by acting against male warfare through leading the other women in seizing control...
2 Pages 919 Words

Antigone' by Sophocles: The Themes of Tragedy, Rebelliousness, and Free Will

Despite Greek philosophy not having an accurate meaning of “free will”, it can be either considered good or bad. The act of having “free will” generally comes from what you think is the right thing to do. It is a will that allows us to choose what we feel is right based on how we interpret different ideas and the environment around us. It is believed that everyone has one from the day we are born and we can choose...
3 Pages 1139 Words

The Image Of Creon In Antigone

In Sophocles’ play Antigone, the city of Thebes is controlled by King Creon, who fails to acknowledge and distinguish his position as king from his familial relationships. He refuses to hear contradicting opinions and maintains a neglectful character. Throughout the play Creon’s family end their life because of his stubbornness. Although, he finally acknowledges his mistakes it is too late for him to take back his actions. Antigone’s drive on following her traditional values puts her in the position of...
3 Pages 1271 Words

Crime, Punishment, and Guilt in Antigone

The interactive oral presentations for the play Antigone, written by Sophocles, has allowed me to acquire new knowledge about the background details of the characters, the history of burial, and the rules of marriage in the ancient Greek times. When I first started reading the play, I was confused with the storyline, characters’ names, and their family tree. However, the presentations were a great opportunity for me to gain a better insight into the play. Also, I believe that I...
4 Pages 1771 Words

The Similarities and Differences in Antigone and A Doll’s House

Antigone and A Doll’s House are plays set back in history to a time when men were considered superior to women. Antigone is an ancient greek drama about a young woman who goes against her society’s beliefs and buries her brother. A Doll’s House is a play about a woman who risks a lot to save her husband’s life. The main character in Antigone is Antigone, a young woman who disobeys her uncles law in order to bury her brother....
2 Pages 719 Words

The Aspects of Feminism in Antigone

Women were still treated as inferiors in the male-dominated civilization of Early Athens. But Throughout Antigone, there are many references to feminism including: Antigone and Ismene’s relationship, Creon’s anti-feminist remarks, and Antigone’s fearless and valiant assertiveness. In the opening of Antigone, it is revealed that Antigone and Ismene have different ideas when it comes to being women in a patriarchal civilization. Ismene says “We must remember that we two are women, so not to fight with men; and that since...
1 Page 657 Words

Antigone As A Protagonist

The time when Creon start the execution ceremony, Antigone started singing about herself how she was going to die, and she did not see the ritual of marriage and no one sings for her wedding, and she would marry Akron, She seems sad about her life which will end as she a young woman and without marriage, when she says “ without anyone’s weeping, without friend without a marriage-song ” ( 935-936). The final speech of Antigone shows some signs...
1 Page 520 Words

Antigone: Women In Ancient Greek Society

For several centuries, many women have been fighting to have the same rights as men. Men made women believe that they were the second class citizens and were also made to believe that they should always obey a mans order. In fact, in ancient Greece, they believed that a woman’s sole purpose was to only run the household and have children that were preferably male. In the play Antigone by Sophocles, he writes about the distinctive behaviors between two sisters...
2 Pages 796 Words

Punishment Oedipus VS Creon in Antigone

Some people might declare that Oedipus was punished worse than Creon. On the other hand, some people might believe that Creon had the worse punishment out of the two. Oedipus’ story started out as him being a prince of Thebes. The city has been struck by a plague, the citizens are dying, and no one knows how to put an end to it. Creon then tells what he has learned from the god Apollo, who said the murderer of Laius,...
3 Pages 1398 Words

Positive and Natural Law in Antigone

Introduction St Thomas Aquinas has undoubtedly been known for his principle work, the Summa Theologiae. Thomas Aquinas worked steadily on this writing for many years between the years of 1265 and 1273, and the writing was intended to be a guide for beginners in theology to organise a collection and assist with Christian doctrine and philosophy. The Summa eventually became ‘one of the most influential works of Western literature’ and this established Aquinas as a leading theorist of the natural...
4 Pages 1651 Words

The Idea Of Political Resistance In Antigone By Sophocles And Bartleby The Scrivener By Herman Melville

Bartleby is quite a peculiar character because he doesn’t do any of the tasks he is asked to do. Bartleby is a character who refuses the power of authority. Instead of following the rules, he decides to go along with his own. Whenever his boss, a lawyer asks him to do everyday work Bartleby’s response is always “I would prefer not to.” The word “prefer” contains a powerful feeling of being in charge. Bartleby is not giving satisfaction to his...
3 Pages 1486 Words

The Role of Women in Antigone

Antigone, originally written by Sophocles and reinterpreted by Seamus Heaney, presents Antigone, daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, as a woman who is willing to speak out when the king, her uncle, bans the burial of her brother. Antigone meets all of Aristotle’s criteria for tragedy with the exception of featuring a bold and headstrong female in the lead role. Antigone by Sophocles is a play that challenged the status quo and views on women during the time period the original...
2 Pages 965 Words

Morals and Values in Antigone

The question of what is right or legal had been always a subject of discussion. What is right can be defined as subjective which, is based on people’s understanding of morality, ethics, and values and what is legal as objective which, is based on people’s understanding of the laws of their community or nation. What is legal does not mean it is right and what is right should not be illegal. It is why sometimes people do what they think...
2 Pages 1006 Words

Creon As A Tragic Character In Antigone

In Sophocles’ “Antigone,” the main character, Antigone, displayed strong determination and loyalty to her family and god. However, I sympathize more with Kreon because he was a man of his words and he refused to break social peace and state laws. Throughout the play, Kreon’s character exemplifies the traits of a tragic hero. Creon was suffering from his actions without knowing that he will be losing everything but the law. Compare to Antigone, Kreon regrets his decision and cannot alternate...
2 Pages 1083 Words

Beliefs and Morals in Antigone

Throughout history, there have been various cases in which the people of a nation have to take the matter into their own hands in order to bring justice to everyone. Civil disobedience is a right that an individual has to oppose an unjust law in a manner that is passive. Not only is it a right but it also ties into being a responsibility of the people to fight against laws that may be unjustified to ensure the safety and...
2 Pages 918 Words

Antigone and the Individual-Society Relationship

Antigone, penned by Sophocles, is the final play in the trilogy of tragedies, beginning with King Oedipus. The battle between the two sons of the extinct King Oedipus ends with both dying in battle. With the deaths of two brothers, Uncle Creon, the only remaining man, sits on the throne. Kreon orders that Eteokles, who died to defend his homeland, be buried in a beautiful ceremony, while his other brother Polyneikes is convicted of treason and his body is left...
2 Pages 781 Words

Antigone: The Inevitability of Fate

Sophocles’ Antigone, written in 441 B.C.E., is over 2000 years old and is still a common element in an average English class reading list. It is a story about a woman who wants to cause no trouble, but will also stop at nothing to honor her brother in his death. Even though King Creon has decreed that anybody who tries to bury Antigone’s brother will be punished with death, she does so anyway. Antigone disregards the threat and buries her...
2 Pages 780 Words

Traveling Through Time: An Analysis of Antigone in World War II France

The story of Antigone is one of the oldest, yet most well-known, theatrical pieces. Sophocles, was the first playwright to interpret the myth to create a theatrical performance. The appeal of Antigone to many playwrights, as well as the reason for its longevity, is its ability to adapt to any social or political theme. In 441 b.c. Sophocles adapted the myth of Antigone to a play that emphasises Athenian ideals and cultural values. Centuries later in 1944, Jean Anouilh reinterpreted...
3 Pages 1523 Words

Law And Justice In Sophocles’ Antigone And Martin Luther King’s Letter From A Birmingham Jail

Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Discrimination is prevalent in almost every aspect of our lives, whether it is gender, religion, ethnicity, race, or sexual orientation. But when we do encounter those unfortunate situations, the majority of the time, we stay silent. What many do not understand is that the oppression of one can affect the oppression of the entire nation. Sophocles’ ancient Greek tragedy, Antigone, portrays a young woman fighting for...
2 Pages 1119 Words
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