Sympathy for the Main Character in Sophocles' Antigone Essay

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Sympathy for the Main Character in Sophocles' Antigone Sophocles' play is named after its main character, Antigone, and for one the first times in Greek Tragedy it is a woman. In this play, Antigone is clearly the protagonist, as she is showed in her grief, seems sympathetic and the reader or spectator sees her from the beginning; it creates more impact and draws attention to the extremity of her feelings and emotions. Antigone also illustrates one of the central themes of this tragedy, which is the position of women; she upsets gender roles and hierarchy, and disturbs the fundamental rules of her culture. She is…show more content…
The king feels she is defying him and he has the power over whether she lives or dies, and the law is only here to benefit him and to control the people. It emphasizes her lack of power and the divergent way in which they deal with laws. Sophocles turns us towards Antigone again since she follows her own conscience and wants to honour her family whereas Creon chooses to follow state laws. Furthermore, Antigone has to act on her own to bury Polyneice's body since Ismene chooses to do nothing, it shows she is the character with the most agency and courage and makes us feel admiration for her. The fact that she has obligations as a woman and a duty towards her family represents her as a martyr and this creates empathy again for her character. As we go on with our reading we discover Antigone's deep suffering and sorrow, she suffers because she has no power, is dominated by the status of Creon and is alone in her struggle. She has lost her two brothers, has no family except for Ismene, and is now condemned to die by Creon. In addition, the fact that she has a fiancé but is not married to him adds to her solitude, and makes us feel compassion for her. As said before, when the play was written women had a very little role in a society ruled by men, and they had very limited freedom.

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