In any story or piece of literature, there will always be the main
characters to fill the pages with incessant adventure. The characters
whose names appear on almost every page and the characters whose
actions the story revolves around. However, a story will also always
have its minor characters. These are the characters that contribute
heavily to the plot, yet aren't mentioned quite as often and are
underestimated regarding their importance in the story. In the Greek
masterpiece, Antigone, the author Sophocles construed a myriad of
minor characters that contributed to the story in numerous ways.
Ismene, one of Oedipus' daughters, was created to foil the main
character, Antigone. Haemon, the son of Creon, took the role of adding
controversy and showing his father revenge for all the trouble he
caused Thebes. And finally, Tiresias, an elderly blind prophet, was
constructed to diminish Creon's hubris.
Firstly, Ismene's character was created primarily to foil that of
Antigone's. When Antigone initially discussed her plans to contest the
King's orders, Ismene was against it and tried to argue with her
sister, hoping to dispel the plan from her mind. In lines 71-74,
Ismene states during her argument, "think what a death we'll die, the
worst of all if we violate the laws and override the fixed decree of
the throne, it's power- we must be sensible." During the entire story
the two characters have obvious opposing views and personalities.
Ismene is discerned as rational, cautious, and dutiful, while Antigone
is conveyed as intractable, brave, and disobedient.
Another example of the discrepancy between the characters is the way
that they are physically represented. Sophocles generated Ismene w...
... middle of paper ...
...ty fits together like a puzzle. For example, without those
blank sky pieces that fit at the top of a puzzle, it can never be
completed. Same rule applies to any story, without the minor
characters to reveal hidden information or to simple add drama, then a
story can never be completed. In the Greek tragedy, Antigone, the
author, Sophocles, presents the minor characters in his story with
important functions and responsibilities. Ismene, Antigone's sister,
had the purpose of foiling Antigone in order to create undeclared
confliction between the characters. Haemon, Antigone's fiancÃ©e, was
meant to bring justification to the string of deaths at the end of the
story. And lastly, Tiresias, the respected prophet, was carefully
produced as the character who pushed Creon's conscious over the edge
and influenced him the most to withdraw his punishment for Antigone.
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