Essay about Antigone by Sophocles

Essay about Antigone by Sophocles

Length: 863 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

"I would not count any enemy of my country as a friend." In the play Antigone, written by Sophocles, Antigone finds herself torn apart between divine law and state law. The play opens up at the end of a war between Eteocles and Polyneices, sons of Oedipus and brothers of Antigone and Ismene. These brothers, fighting for control of Thebes, kill each other, making Creon king of Thebes. Creon, as king, gives an important speech to the citizens of Thebes, announcing that Eteocles, who defended Thebes, will receive a proper burial, unlike his brother Polyneices, who brought a foreign army against Thebes. This speech introduces the major conflict of divine law versus state law. Furthermore, Creon cherishes order and loyalty above all else. He cannot bear to be disobeyed or watch the laws of the state be broken by anyone, especially by a woman. However, Antigone places her individual conscience and love for her brother Polyneices above and against the power and authority of the state, which costs her life.
"You ought to realize we are only women, not meant in nature to fight against men, and that we are ruled, by those who are stronger, to obedience in this and even more painful matters." In the opening of the play, Antigone and Ismene meet in the night. Antigone laments Creon's decree that whoever tries to bury Polyneices or mourn for him must be stoned to death. Although Ismene declares that the sisters lack any power in the situation, Antigone insists that she will bury Polyneices, and asks for Ismene's help. Ismene states that though she loves Polyneices, she must abide by the king's decree. Ismene, unlike Antigone, fears death. She believes that there is nothing that she can do. She reminds Antigone that they are on...


... middle of paper ...


...assistance, resolves to give their brother a proper burial. Ismene feared helping Antigone bury Polyneices but offers to die beside Antigone when Creon sends her to die. Antigone, however, refuses to allow her sister to be killed for something she did not have the courage to stand up for.
The position of women is an important theme in this play. Gender has an impact on Antigone and her actions. Antigone does not stress her own gender openly, but Creon does, refusing to take back Antigone's punishment because she, a woman, has broken his law. One can view Antigone as being fed up with restrictions and obsessed with death and martyrdom. Clearly, she is motivated by love for her brother and by her strong belief that the divine law has been violated. However, becoming a martyr makes the consequences of her action an additional advantage, rather than an obstacle.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Antigone, By Sophocles And Antigone Essay

- In many literary works throughout the ages it is not uncommon to find characters that are representative of their time and place. Sophocles, in his play Antigone tries to portray just that in his characters Ismene and Antigone. However, the characters portray these ancient values in starkly different ways. While Antigone believes in divine rule above all, her sister subscribes to the rule of men – particularly Creon her king. Through the use of the characters Ismene and Antigone as foils, Sophocles conveys the conflict that emerges between the rule of man and divine rule....   [tags: Oedipus, Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone]

Good Essays
1519 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about Antigone By Sophocles ' Antigone

- Ismene is a character in the play “Antigone”, written by the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles. She is the daughter/sister of Oedipus. Her sister is known as Antigone, and she also had two brothers by the names of Polyneices and Eteocles. Ismene plays an important role in this particular play. Antigone pleads Ismene to help her bury their brother Polyneices, who has just been recently killed, but Ismene refuses to help her sister to stay out of trouble. Ismene fears that the king of Thebes, Creon, would catch them....   [tags: Sophocles, Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone]

Good Essays
737 words (2.1 pages)

The Tragedy Of Antigone By Sophocles Essay

- “Antigone,” is a wonderfully crafted play by Sophocles, which manifests various psychological aspects of humankind like anger, bravery, jealousy, ignorance, arrogance, deceit, and sacrifice to a greater degree. Out of the many characters that represent these human frailties, Antigone is portrayed as the strongest of all. Antigone, despite being a woman in the era, when the gender of women was considered below the status of men, shows great defiance against the cruelty of the reigning monarchy. People secretly approve the generous act of Antigone burying her brother, Polyneices....   [tags: Sophocles, Antigone, Oedipus, Creon]

Good Essays
732 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about The Tragic Hero Of Antigone By Sophocles

- Wiz Khalifa once said, “Never make permanent decisions on temporary feelings.” Some students may believe that Antigone was the tragic hero in the story, but the real tragic hero is actually Creon for many reasons. Some describe a tragic hero by whether they are heroic or born into nobility, but in the story he is portrayed as the antagonist. In the novel, “Antigone” written by Sophocles, Creon becomes the tragic hero by forbidding the burial of Polyneices, imprisoning Antigone for his own good and believing that he is the only one that can control the law....   [tags: Oedipus, Sophocles, Creon, Antigone]

Good Essays
1194 words (3.4 pages)

Analysis Of ' Antigone ' By Sophocles Essay

- In Antigone, by Sophocles, which centrals around themes such as bravery in the face of death, civil unrest, and unyielding dedication to divine justice, it is easy to understand why Ismene’s character is often called cowardly, docile, and indecisive. However, this view of her undercuts the most basic facet of her personality, the one which is absent in Antigone — a will to live. With this in mind, Ismene’s personality is far one-dimensional, as there are are certain traits she needed to embody in order to survive....   [tags: Sophocles, Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone]

Good Essays
1077 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Antigone by Sophocles

- "I would not count any enemy of my country as a friend." In the play Antigone, written by Sophocles, Antigone finds herself torn apart between divine law and state law. The play opens up at the end of a war between Eteocles and Polyneices, sons of Oedipus and brothers of Antigone and Ismene. These brothers, fighting for control of Thebes, kill each other, making Creon king of Thebes. Creon, as king, gives an important speech to the citizens of Thebes, announcing that Eteocles, who defended Thebes, will receive a proper burial, unlike his brother Polyneices, who brought a foreign army against Thebes....   [tags: Antigone Sophocles Greek Play]

Good Essays
863 words (2.5 pages)

Creon As The Tragic Hero Of Antigone by Sophocles Essay

- Creon As The Tragic Hero Of Antigone by Sophocles Greek tragedy would not be complete with out a tragic hero. Sophocles wrote Antigone with a specific character in mind for this part. Based on Aristotle’s definition, Creon is the tragic hero of Antigone. Creon fits Aristotle’s tragic hero traits as a significant person who is faced with difficult decisions. Creon is significant because he is king. This makes him both renowned and prosperous. Creon is not completely good nor completely bad; he is somewhere in-between, as humans are....   [tags: Greek Sophocles Antigone Essays]

Good Essays
792 words (2.3 pages)

The Source of Conflict between Antigone and Creon in Sophocles' Antigone

- The Source of Conflict between Antigone and Creon in Sophocles’ “Antigone” In the following paper, I plan to discuss the source of conflict between the title characters of Antigone and Creon in Sophocles’ “Antigone”. I also plan to discuss how each character justifies his or her actions and what arguments they give for their justifications. I will also write about the strengths and weaknesses of these arguments. The final points I try to make are about who Sophocles thinks is right and who I think is right....   [tags: Sophocles Antigone]

Good Essays
1274 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about Sophocles' Antigone

- Sophocles' Antigone 1. - Clearly define by specific traits the character of Antigone and Creon. After her mother committed suicide, her father died and her brothers fought until they killed each other, Antigone projects her strong character with interesting ways of showing it. As the main character with strong values and a stubborn way, she follows the laws of god, without minding the consequences. Antigone is a strong willed woman who wins the respect of the audience by the inner strength and resistance of manipulation she has, showing the potential of human kind....   [tags: Sophocles Antigone]

Free Essays
1173 words (3.4 pages)

Sophocles' Antigone Essay

- Being a part of a family forces one to have responsibilities and duties that are needed to be fulfilled. In Sophocles’ Greek tragedy, Antigone, Antigone has the responsibility of being loyal to her brother, Polynices. Her intuition and strong will discourages her from listening to the power of the state and to disobey some of her family to respect another part of her family. Her devotion leads to the destruction of Creon and herself, but her role as a part of her family does not stand in her determination to do what she believes to be right....   [tags: Sophocles Antigone Greek Tragedy]

Free Essays
1342 words (3.8 pages)