Antigone By Sophocles ' Antigone Essay

Antigone By Sophocles ' Antigone Essay

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Antigone is the protagonist in the story Antigone. She is a young girl who rises up against her uncle, King Creon to defend what she believes in. King Creon is seen amongst the society as a dictator and feels no one should go against his orders. One of King Creon’s orders is to not give Antigone’s brother, Polyneices, a proper burial because he thought Polyneices was a traitor. Antigone, however, chooses to bury her brother because in her heart she feels it is the right thing to do, knowing full well that Creon disapproves and has made it clear that if anyone attempts to touch Polyneices, they will be stoned in public. Antigone says,
And yet, as men’s hearts know, I have done no wrong,
I have not sinned before God. Or if I have,
I shall know the truth in death.
But if the guilt
Lies upon Creon who judged me, then, I pray,
May his punishment equal my own (5.69-73).
Even though Antigone was well aware of the punishment of her crime, she gave her brother a proper burial because he was still a part of her family. To Antigone, being stoned in public is a small sacrifice to make in exchange for her brother’s burial. Antigone feels that her burying her brother is making something King Creon did was wrong into something right.
To the reader, Antigone is seen as a strong female character, which is not mutually exclusive to her being a female heroine. Antigone is the figure who identifies with feminist thoughts, while her sister Ismene, believes woman should only follow what men want. Antigone held a meeting with her sister Ismene to discuss burying the body of Polyneices. According to Arlene Saxonhouse, “Antigone’s explanation to Ismene for the need to disobey the speech of Creon depends on affirming the sanctity of the bonds of ...


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...he was looking for and she instead argues her reason for going against the king. Antigone’s response to King Creon angers him. King Creon is used to having people fear him and when Antigone does not show sign of fear he sends her into the tombs. Creon says, “You know your orders: take her to the vault/ And leave her alone there. /And if she lives or does,/ That’s her affairs, not ours; our hands are clean” (5. 56-58). Creon says this so he feels better about sending her into the tomb. Because Antigone went against his orders he feels if she dies in the tombs it is not his fault, she knew the sentence. According to Mary Hawkesworth, “A feminist reading of Antigone, then, may afford insights into the gendered symbolism of live burial that help illuminate the premature burial of feminism” (970). Creon believed if Antigone were to die then so would the idea of feminism.

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