As the tragedy concludes, the chorus issues its final words: "Pray for no more at all. For what is destined for us, men mortal, there is no escape," demonstrating how justice remains impartial to the prejudice of men; those who make imprudent judgments will ultimately suffer from the consequences of their actions. In Sophocles' Antigone, these prejudices notably surface in the form of paternalism as demonstrated through Creon's government, highlighting the importance of gender roles throughout the play. Therefore, analyzing the motif of gender roles and its effect on the definition of justice through the perspectives of Ismene, Antigone, and Creon enables the audience to understand how Sophocles' macroscopic analogy to humanity's
While Antigone represents a full devotion to humanism, her sister, Ismene, represents not only the rejection of it, but also passivity towards the notion of morality which, in a sense, is equivalent to Creon’s treachery towards what we hold morally sacred. Ismene has long been used as a symbol of both anti-politics and anti-humanism, which creates a dynamic plot by contrasting the cowardly fear to stand up for one’s concept of what is right with a brazen display of self-fulfilled justice. (2) What’s worse may be Ismene’s knowledge of her cowardliness and complete complacency, as seen when talking to Antigone about her plan to bury their slain brother when sharing her fear of punishment, " Think how we’ll die far worse than all the rest, if we defy the law and move against the
The play “Antigone” is a tragedy by Sophocles. One main theme of the play is Religion vs. the state. This theme is seen throughout the play. Antigone is the supporter of religion and following the laws of the gods and the king of Thebes, Creon, is the state. In the play Creon has made it against the law to bury Antigone’s brother, something that goes against the laws of the gods, this is the cause of most conflict in the story. This struggle helps to develop the tragic form by giving the reader parts of the form through different characters.
Haemon insists he is trying to prevent his father from pursuing an injustice while Creon accuses his son of siding with a reckless traitorous woman over his own father, to whom he owes obedience. In fact, Creon is more devoted to his laws than he is to even his own son Haemon’s happiness, refusing to pardon Antigone for burying Polynices even though she is Haemon’s fiancée. Antigone, on the other hand, places long held traditions and loyalty to her family above obedience to the city or to its ruler. In doing so, she makes the case that there are loyalties to both the gods and one’s own family that outweigh one’s loyalty to a
Like Creon, Antigone also never falters in standing up for what she believes in. Although Creon fights for stubborn pride, Antigone is trying to promote what is right and shows her higher reverence for God’s law rather than for Creon’s laws. In the eyes of the townspeople, Chorus, Choragos, and Haimon, Antigone is sacrificing herself to give her brother Polyneices the rightful honors due to the dead. Many side with this brave, honorable girl because she would rather suffer persecution and even death rather than give into Creon’s illogical demands. In the play, the chorus says about her, “You have made your choice, Your death is the doing of your conscious hand”. Antigone knew of the consequences before she acted and in doing so she chose her fate. At the time, she pleaded her sister Ismene to help her bury Polyneices but was rejected. Despite being alone in trying to rebel and perhaps she may have been afraid, Antigone goes out of her way and puts her life on the line to bring her brother respect.
In Antigone, two brothers shared the king status which was left by their father. One of the brothers, Polynices, wanted to start a war with the kingdom because he wanted the king status for himself and himself only. The main ruler, at the time, Eteocles and Polynices fought and they both ended up killing each other. Their Uncle Creon, who took position as King after the deaths of the brother decides that only Eteocles will have a proper burial and Polyneices should lay and rot with no burial. Antigone, Polynices and Eteocles sister, thinks that Creon’s decision is unfair and takes upon herself to give Polyneices a proper burial. When their other sister Ismene finds out, she is stuck between helping her sister bury their brother and following Creon’s demands. Ismene and Antigone are very different people; Antigone is brave while Ismene is tip-top. Two conflicting forces are Ismene's loyalty to her sister and abiding by the laws set out by Creon.
In the play Antigone by Sophocles, Antigone sees herself as loyal, strong-willed, and brave throughout the whole plot. The young heroine views herself as loyal when she buried her brother, Polynices, knowing that the king, Creon, ordered the death of anyone who even showed grief for a death of a traitor. Antigone answers her sister, Ismene's, question of if she would go against Creon's proclamation, "My own brother and yours I will! If you will not, I will; I shall not prove disloyal," (Sophocles 2). She believes that Polynices, traitor or not, deserves a proper burial. Along with loyal, Antigone also finds herself strong-willed. Even when she is caught, Antigone stands by her beliefs and does not deny what she has done. Creon states to a senator,
Antigone has a possible flaw in that she is too stubborn and persistent to obey Creon’s order; “I know my duty, where true duty lies” (Antigone, 128). Her punishment then encourages feelings of pity from the audience because her deed was honorable and respectful towards her brother Polynices. The chorus supports this view by bidding her a respectful farewell when she is taken away, “But glory and praise go with you lady” (Antigone, 148). Antigone is also very proud, and this may have contributed to her death. Even when she is caught she remains strong and defends herself by claiming that the chorus thinks that her act was honorable, “All these would say that what I did was honorable” (Antigone, 139). This causes Creon to remain angry with Antigone, “you are wrong, none of my subjects think as you do” (Antigone, 140). If she had been more patient and less defensive, Creon may not have been as harsh in the punishment he set for her.
The tragedy begins with Creon's edict, which forbids the burial of Polyneikes. Antigone embraces the harmatia of pride by deliberately burying her brother Polyneikes, despite Creon's strict orders. This triggers a heated disagreement between Antigone and her sister, Ismene, who later implores Antigone to abandon her plans to bury their brother. Despite Ismene's repeated pleas, Antigone allowed her pride to prevent her from heeding her sister's advice. Antigone even encourages Ismene to proclaim her forbidden act saying, "No! Go on, tell them all! I will hate you much more for your silence." (Antigone 103-104) Antigone's open defiance allowed the guards to easily witness
Now when the guards discovered that someone buried the body of Polyneices, the head sentry went to tell the king, whereupon Creon became enthralled with anger. He told the sentry that he judged him to be a bribed soldier and that he could not return unless he found the person who had buried the body or told of whom it was that had bribed him. After this the horrified sentry and his men brushed off the sacred burial dust from the body and kept watch from a distance to see if the rebel would return to bury the body. Sure enough, during a sandstorm Antigone was seen burying the body that she had cared for so well before. The guards grabbed her and she showed no fear. She did not try to evade her pursuers and she was brought before the king. The king first asked her if she had heard his proclamation concerning the burial of her brother. She blatantly told him that could not have helped hearing it. If she had denied hearing it, she may have escaped death, but she did not want to escape it, and she felt that she had done nothing wrong. She believed that her death would be of no importance, but that the death of her brother would
Not only is Antigone courageous and highly motivated by her morals by standing up for her political and religious beliefs, she also protects her personal ones when she buries her brother. Antigone places family above her own life, and she refuses to let a man stand in her way of maintaining her ideals. She buries Polynices out of her own loyalty to her brother even after her sister, Ismene, refuses. Antigone is cruel to her for not taking part in illegally burying their brother. Instead of being caring and considerate, she becomes irate and at the end of their conversation says, "Go away Ismene: I shall be hating you soon, and the dead will too, for your hateful words," Antigone's flaw was her headstrong behavior and her stubbornness, which ultimately brought about her downfall and the downfall of those around her. Her persistence of course, is what forces Antigone to rashly take matters in to her own hands. Creon then decides to take Antigone's life "Away with her at once, and close her up in her rock-vaulted tomb. Leave her and let her die". To everyone's surprise Antigone does not run from her death sentence suggesting a great trait of braveness, which the chorus recognizes before her exodus from life. The notion that a person has no say in the affairs of their loved ones and the fact that those laws were defied deserves
Unlike most Greek tragedies, Antigone is not essentially about the opposing powers of good and evil. Instead, the play demonstrates the conflict between one’s duty towards their family and their country and social expectations. “Antigone presents a conflict between family loyalty and loyalty to the state, between demands of the state and the will of the individual” (MacKay, 166). The king
Antigone was dejected with Creon’s ruling and decided to bury Polynices herself. She tried to enlist Ismene to help her, but Ismene was to afraid. Antigone furiously continued with the plan on her own. A sentry discovered Antigone and brought her to Creon. Ismene was also brought to Creon and confessed that she had helped Antigone with the burial rites of Polynices. Antigone stopped Ismene and told her not to
The topic I chose to write this essay on is about the examination of the central conflicts that are taking place in the story “Antigone”. Throughout the story and what seems to be the start of many conflicts to come is, Antigone the main character having hard time fathering the fact that she’s not allowed to bury her other brother Polynices. Due to orders given by her uncle Creon. Essentially in the story Antigone struggles with fighting against the social customs of the time, disputes with her sister Ismene, and Creon who represents the state or government and the ultimate enemy.
Both Sophocles and Jean Anouilh use the simple story-line of a girl defying her uncle and king in the face of death to reflect upon the events and attitudes of their days. Sophocles' Antigone models the classical pattern of tragedy by incorporating key elements such as a tragic hero with a fatal flaw and the Man-God-Society triangle. Creon is the tragic hero who disturbs the natural harmony of Thebes by denying Polyneices a funeral. Antigone is the catalyst who forces him to reckon with the consequences of his pride and arrogance. In the twentieth century, Jean Anouilh takes Sophocles' drama, strips it down to its core, and weaves an entirely different version of the story. Anouilh redefines "tragedy" by removing the conventional tragic