Antigone, by Sophocles

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In Sophocles’ play, Antigone, the main character uses rhetoric to effectively persuade her audiences to sympathize with her. In the play, Antigone’s brother, Polyneices, dies a traitor to the Theban people. The king, Creon, decrees that no one is to bury the traitor despite the necessity of burial for proper passing into the afterlife. Believing that Creon’s decree is unjust, Antigone buries her brother. When she is brought to the king, Antigone uses this speech in defense of her actions. In the speech, she uses allusion, diction, and particular sentence structure to increase the effectiveness of her argument. A key factor in the power of her speech is Antigone’s consideration for her audiences. The first of these audiences is Creon…show more content…
But in reference to the people of Thebes, Antigone uses this to gain their pity, as well as their sympathy. She wants them to think that she is deserving of life because she is so accepting of death. It is important to discuss Antigone’s point of view on the situation when considering the rhetorical strength of her argument. She stands by the belief that her decision to bury her brother was the right one. Her morals and past experiences have shaped this point of view. Antigone has a strong foundation of family loyalty. This is evident in almost all of her actions, the most obvious being the illegal burial of her brother. Antigone also has lingering discontent towards Creon due to the fact that he took the thrown after her father’s death. These past experience may have shaped attitudes towards Creon beyond the simple unjustness of his law. Antigone uses rhetorical devices, including allusion and repetition of words, to increase the effectiveness of her argument. The most prevalent allusion in the speech is the one to God. She refers to the gods as having the ultimate power over any human being. This reference to the religious beliefs of the Theban people is an effective device to use. It causes her audience to consider the boundaries between the laws of the mortal and immortal. Knowing that her audience has strong religious background, Antigone uses this rhetorical device to ensure that her speech reaches into their beliefs and causes them to

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