The Tragedy Of Sophocles ' Antigone Essay

The Tragedy Of Sophocles ' Antigone Essay

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Gender and power intersect in shaping the tragedy of Sophocles’ Antigone. Despite Creon’s edict that Polyneices should be left to rot in the battlefield for being a traitor, Antigone defies the rule of man to obey the rule of the gods and her obligation as kin, as she properly buries her brother. Creon and Antigone can be both argued as tragic heroes, but the focus dwells on the King of Thebes. A line has been specifically selected to explain why he is a tragic hero. The context of the line is that Haemon pledges allegiance to his father, who criticizes women, in general, but attacks Antigone, in specific. Creon is a tragic hero because of the irony of his sexism, where he blames Antigone and women for anarchy, ruining the kingdom and homes, disintegrating the populace, and corrupting society and his ruling, when he himself does all these, thus, exposing his hamartia of hubris and foreshadowing the peripeteia, or reversal of fortune, and anagnorisis, or recognition of peripeteia, of his fate, which is significantly worse than he deserves.
By blaming women for anarchy, Creon reveals his hamartia, the flaw of hubris, as a sexist who has ironically become the creator of chaos in Thebes, and which demonstrates the tragedy of character. He exclaims to his son: “What evils are not wrought by Anarchy!” (Sophocles, line 671). Anarchy refers to lawlessness and disorder. Creon is referring to Antigone in this line, though he generalizes all women too, for he uses the word “she” in the subsequent line. Line 671 asserts that anarchy comes from evil, in effect, suggesting only women can be evil, evil enough to wreak lawlessness. On the one hand, Creon is right that Antigone broke his edict. On the other hand, he uses a slippery slope argument,...


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...attled for losing all in the end, simply because he cannot allow a rightful burial. The burial does not mean Polyneices is a hero, but a religious rite, which gods approve, yet he denies this to Antigone. On this regard, Creon does not deserve the suicide of his family and Antigone, yet these are the tragic consequences of hubris.
The ironic substance of the line asserts that Creon is a tragic hero, for, as he blamed Antigone and women for the state’s problems, he simply foreshadows his tragic destiny. By creating a law that divides families and breaches spiritual rites, Creon produces anarchy. His edict and its absolute implementation hail from his hubris, particularly sexism against women. Foreshadowing Creon’s doom, the chosen line effectively captures the essence of a tragic hero- imperfect, yet flawed enough to result in utter external and internal destruction.

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