Analysis Of Antigone And Creon

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In the tragic play, Antigone, Sophocles warns his audience against defying the will of the gods. As a result of a clash between the laws of the state of Thebes and the unwritten laws of the gods, main characters Antigone and Creon experience downfalls characteristic of the Aristotelian tragic hero. Antigone meets her demise because of her decision to bury her brother and hold herself accountable for her actions. While her defiant actions may be characteristic of an ambitious tragic hero, Creon’s unwavering pride and series of offenses towards the gods lead him to an arguably more tragic downfall of his own. Through careful consideration of his personality, his actions, and the circumstances surrounding his downfall, Creon shows that he is…show more content…
In her reaction to Creon’s defamation of Polynices, Antigone says, “I will bury him myself. And even if I die in the act, that death will be a glory. I will lie with the one I love and loved by him – an outrage sacred to the gods!” (63). In this statement, Antigone commits herself to giving her brother a proper burial, even if it means facing death as a result of her actions. It is this commitment to achieving “glory” that makes Antigone willing to die for what she believes is…show more content…
After Antigone is banished to death in the cavern, the chorus details the downfall of the mythical figure Lycurgus: “And there his rage his terrible flowering rage burst – sobbing, dying away… at last that madman came to know his god – the power he mocked, the power he taunted in all his frenzy trying to stamp out the women strong with the god…” (108). This passage essentially serves to foreshadow Creon’s demise. It can be seen from this passage that there are parallels between Creon’s, Antigone’s, and Lycurgus’ downfall. In this particular moment in the story, Creon “mocks” and “taunts” the power of the gods by “stamping out” Antigone. Antigone can be considered a “woman strong with the [gods]” because of her decision to uphold divine law over state law. Additionally, Creon’s furious tone in his argument with Tiresias can be likened to Lycurgus’ “terrible flowering rage.” When Creon realizes that he is unable to reverse his actions and hears of the deaths in his family, he breaks down into the same “sobbing, dying” despair as Lycurgus. Although the choral ode about Lycurgus only serves to foreshadow Creon’s demise, it gives insight to the idea that Creon’s downfall is a result of his own actions. It is also important to note the relationship between state law and divine law, and how this relationship parallels and drives the conflict and self-incurred downfall of Antigone and Creon. Antigone, bereaved by the
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