Antigonem by Sophocles

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People are undisputedly faced with the challenge to grow and encounter headfirst all the unexpected changes life throws at them. Change, perhaps the solitary constant factor of life, drives people to make decisions that will be reciprocated with an unforeseen event. This principle of life is applied as an underlying web of the plethora of ironies throughout all of Antigone. Set in the age of reconstruction in Thebes, no doubt due to the aftershock of a war between brothers and their ongoing family curse, Sophocles’s constant use of irony in Antigone around Creon, the king of Thebes, indicates that the ironic nature of man contributes and lurks in their ultimate demise. The characters of Antigone fail to avoid irony alive; however Creon remains the sole target of Sophocles’s apparatus of irony. Specifically in Antigone, the attribute of Creon that sets him apart as the candidate in Sophocles’s eye for ironic tragedy is his incentive in his actions. Creon exhibits harsh irony on his part when he comments that Antigone’s death “gives him everything” (Sophocles, 709). His rebuttal is ironical, because it is ultimately Antigone’s death that vacuums all the love out of Creon’s life when he is left with no family. In that moment when Antigone, the daughter of his bother Oedipus, remains defiant to his laws, his desire for an assurance in power and uncontrollable rage drives him almost to an obsession in following through with Antigone’s death. Therefore, Creon’s incentive in an adamant vocalization of his desire for Antigone’s death is not because he truly feels that Antigone’s death justifies her “crime”, but rather that her death paves way Creon’s satisfaction with being a sovereign leader. Yet Sophocles takes his explanation to the... ... middle of paper ... ...lty. A new Creon is reborn in the eyes of the audience. He is the victim of ironic fate. Changes do define the course of human life, as well as the clash of their ironic decisions. Yet Sophocles’s twist on this principle of human life was by no doubt more cynical. Irony does not present itself as an opportunity for man to grasp. The truth is that men are forced into the tragedy the irony brings forth in the most unexpected circumstances. As for Creon, these circumstances lead to his ultimate downfall. In the light of it all, the tragic irony of Oedipus’s curse is cast away in the end. It is perhaps fortunate that the curse is mended. With no doubt the city of Thebes will be thrown into another reconstruction period after such a shocking revelation. But Creon’s downfall and his sacrifice will also contribute to the peace the people of Thebes will deserve at last.

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