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Antigone: a Tragic Heroin

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Antigone is one of the most famous play/drama written by Sophocles who is one of the great ancient Greek tragedians. The play is all about the king Oedipus’s fall from the power and the tragedies that his children suffer. The characters played in this drama are equally important in their own prospective view, but the role played by antigone holds the central theme of the drama.

When Antigone’s both brothers were fighting in the battle of Thebes, she and her sister decide to return to Thebes with the intention of helping her brother to avoid the prophecy that predicts that they both will be killed by each other.

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When she arrived there,she came to know that her both brothers were dead. Due to the death of her two brothers, her sorrow and grieve reached no boundaries. One of her brother named Eteocles has been given a proper burial but her another brother named Polyneices was banned from proper burial.

This added more tension and became the turning point of her life.

Antigone decide to defies the king’s law and choose gods law and give proper burial to her brother. This was not an easy task, especially to the women. So ,she asked help with her sister, but her sister denied to help her because of fear of king’s law. Then with her own will power, she decided to give burial alone and leave her luck on her fate. In the meanwhile she get caught and put into the prison. She killed herself in the prison. At the end of the play, her fiance Haemon and Creon’s wife too killed themselves and Creon will be left alone.

Because of her family loyalty, her loyalty to the god, her will power and her love with the death makes her character unique and inspiring throughout the play and can be consider her as tragic heroin in whole drama. When she found her brothers have killed each other in a war over their father’s throne and the new king declares that body of one of her brother will be honored and another will be left to rot; due to this unequal justice, she declares that she will bury her brother’s despite of king’s law.

This was her rebellious act and her determined loyalty to the memory of her brother that forms the spine of the play. Her firm loyalty becomes her tragic error and finally causes her downfall. For Antigone, loyalty to her family means a lot and she sacrifices her own life in the name of it. Her determination was so strong that her character becomes symbolic of family loyalty. Her decision to despite the kings law clearly shows that she had fierce loyalty to the god. Actually, gods divine law are what she holds most scared. She will not pay attention in men’s law if she had to choose between men’s law vs god’s law.

In another sense, we can say that she believe in gods law rather than man’s law. In the play there are enough evidence that supports her belief. Such as, absence of footprints near her brother’s dead body when she put dust on it. There is also a divine support for Antigone when storm rages outside of Thebes. The sentry and friends went back to polyneices’s body and wipe away the soil that Antigone sprinkled there. She also explores a contrast between the behavior expected of women and the reality of their role in the society and in the family.

Unlike her beautiful and docile sister, Antigone was a brave, strong and fearless girl. It seems that Antigone has more boyish physique and curses her girlhood. Here in the play,she against all prohibitions and without any just cause, she bury her brother to the point of her own death. This shows her braveness and strong will power. We can consider her as symbol of feminine revolt. She scarifies her own life to stand up for rights. Due to her heroic action we can feel that her clash with Creon/King as symbolic struggle of man vs. woman.

After she got captured, she bravely argues that her actions were justified by her loyalty to her family and to the gods and stands before the accuser unrepentant. This proves that she was the girl with man’s heart. Even though Antigone was a brave and fearless girl, she had a feelings that she had been betrayed by her sister somehow. She cursed herself for being a girl. She had so much sorrow and pain in her life that she felt that she lost everything. She lost her brother, father, love of her sister and most important, she lost her will for living. She felt that she had nothing to lose anymore.

Death was easy for her then to live painful life. So she definitely seems to be a little in love with death and finally she finished herself by hugging her own death.

Works Cited:

  1. Charen, Hannes. “Hegel Reading Antigone. ” Monatshefte 103. 4 (2011): 504-516. Academic Search Complete. Web. 13 Apr. 2013.
  2. Kirkpatrick, Jennet. “The Prudent Dissident: Unheroic Resistance In Sophocles’ Antigone. “Review Of Politics 73. 3 (2011): 401-424.
  3. Academic Search Complete. Web. 13 Apr. 2013. Jones, W. T. The Classical Mind. 2nd. ed. New York: Harcourt, 1970. print.

Cite this Antigone: a Tragic Heroin

Antigone: a Tragic Heroin. (2016, Oct 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/antigone-a-tragic-heroin/

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