Theme Of Heroic Nature In Antigone

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Sophocles portrayals Antigone’s heroic nature through indirect characterization and her tragic flaw by direct characterization. Foiling her against her sister Ismene, Antigone appears to be a fearless and flinty heroine. Facing Creon’s law, Antigone and Ismene presents two contrasting personalities. Ismene refuses Antigone’s invitation to bury Polynices, and argues that she is not to be blamed: “I’m forced, I have no choice – I must obey/ the ones who stand in power” (Sophocles 78, 79). Ismene chooses to be the coward in Antigone’s words, escaping from her responsibility to bury her dead brother to stay away from any trouble. On the other hand, Antigone insists in her decision: “I will bury him myself. /And even if I die in the act, that death…show more content…
It leads to Antigone’s death, pushing the play to its climax. Emphasizing Antigone’s symbolic meaning, the princess’ speech denounces Creon for weighing the state law over the divine law: “Nor did I think your edict had such force/ that you, a mere mortal, could override the gods” (Sophocles 503, 504). Exhibiting her obedience to the gods, Antigone’s monologue highlights the conflict that the princess is a representative of the divine force, while Creon in opposition symbolizes the state law. Antigone’s violation of the state law is the reason of her arrest and execution, as Creon furiously announces: “This girl was an old hand at insolence/ when she overrode the edicts we made public” (Sophocles 536, 537). From Creon’s perspective, the state law is the most supreme that no one has power to override his or her civic duty. Representing the mortal law, Creon is in conflict against Antigone, the natural force of god. The conflict eventually leads to Antigone’s death under to Creon’s order: “Leader: ‘…it’s settled then? Antigone must die?’ Creon: ‘Settled, yes’” (Sophocles 649, 650). Antigone’s execution symbolizes an offence to the law of the gods, pushing Creon to his downfall. In Antigone, the conflict between Creon and Antigone is a conflict of man against nature from a symbolic perspective, leading to Antigone’s death and starting the falling action of…show more content…
According to the sentry, Antigone hovers over Polynices’ body “like a bird come back to an empty nest, /peering into its bed, and all the babies gone” (Sophocles 472, 473). Comparing Antigone to a mother bird, the description suggests that Antigone symbolizes a maternal figure and a force of nature, in opposition to Creon’s representation as the civic duty. The simile clarifies the conflict between Antigone and Creon at a metaphorical level, and thus deepens the meaning of the play that it is not only about the clashes between a king and a princess, but it further implies the collision between the divine force and the state law. Utilizing simile, Sophocles indicates Antigone’s symbolic meaning, and develops the meaning of the play as a
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