preview

charant Character Changes in Sophocles' Antigone

Satisfactory Essays
Character Changes in Antigone

In Sophocles' Greek tragedy, Antigone, two characters undergo character changes. During the play the audience sees these two characters' attitudes change from close-minded to open-minded. It is their close-minded, stubborn attitudes, which lead to their decline in the play, and ultimately to a series of deaths. In the beginning Antigone is a close minded character who later becomes open minded. After the death of her brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, Creon becomes the ruler of Thebes. He decides that Eteocles will receive a funeral with military honors because he fought for his country. However, Polyneices, who broke his exile to " spill the blood of his father and sell his own people into slavery", will have no burial. Antigone disagrees with Creon's unjust actions and says, " Creon is not strong enough to stand in my way." She vows to bury her brother so that his soul may gain the peace of the underworld. Antigone is torn between the law placed against burying her brother and her own thoughts of doing what she feels should be done for her family. Her intent is simply to give her brother, Polyneices, a proper burial so that she will follow "the laws of the gods." Antigone knows that she is in danger of being killed for her actions and she says, "I say that this crime is holy: I shall lie down with him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as he to me." Her own laws, or morals, drive her to break Creon's law placed against Polyneices burial. Even after she realizes that she will have to bury Polyneices without the help of her sister, Ismene, she says: Go away, Ismene: I shall be hating you soon, and the dead will too, For your words are hateful. Leave me my foolish plan: I am not afraid of the danger; if it means death, It will not be the worst of deaths-death without honor. Here Ismene is trying to reason with Antigone by saying that she cannot disobey the law because of the consequences. Antigone is close-minded when she immediately tells her to go away and refuses to listen to her. Later in the play, Antigone is sorrowful for her actions and the consequences yet she is not regretful for her crime. She says her crime is just, yet she does regret being forced to commit it.
Get Access