Antigone, Empress of Byzantium, and My Aunt

Antigone, Empress of Byzantium, and My Aunt

Length: 1247 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Antigone, Empress of Byzantium, and My Aunt

I have very few heroes, but if I could pick three people who are heroic to me, I would have to choose Antigone from the tragic play Antigone by Sophocles, Theodora, Empress of Byzantium, and my own personal hero, my great aunt Alice. All of these women have had a profound effect on the world around them, and worked hard to shape the world as they saw fit, to protect their loved ones and those to whom they were and are loyal. My personal hero especially has had a profound effect on my upbringing and me. While I have few heroes, I will pick some people from the past, present, and literature to represent what I believe a hero should be.

The first hero is Antigone from the well-known Greek tragedy Antigone, written by Sophocles of an older Greek myth. Antigone was not only a hero, but also a martyr. She died for her cause; she died to save the honor and soul of her brother Polynices, even though he was a traitor. She defied the order of the main antagonist Creon, or Kreon, whose edict was that no one should bury Polynices body, or even mourn his passing. (Antigone) On the other hand, her other brother who had seized the thrown after Oedipus's passing, was buried with honor and as a hero. Antigone would not stand for this, as both her mother and father were dead, and thusly she would never have any other brothers ever again. She did not want either of her brothers bodies to be, "left as a corpse eaten by birds and dogs and torn to pieces, shameful for everyone to see," because this would bring more shame to her family then had already been brought by her father, who had killed his own father unknowingly and married his own mother. This is one reason that Antigone is dangerous and heroic, she remembers the past, unlike Creon, who unwittingly begins to repeat the mistakes of Oedipus in his reign, and Antigone uses this information as well as any sword master as a weapon against Creon. She knows that she will be put to death, however she faces up to that and defends her brother anyway, and is unafraid of the consequences. She even makes Creons orders seem shameful, putting them up in a classic rivalry between divine and human law, making it clear that the will of her gods is more important then life or death.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Antigone, Empress of Byzantium, and My Aunt." 20 Jan 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Marina Warner's The Dragon Empress Essay

- Marina Warner's The Dragon Empress At the age of sixteen, the beautiful and elegant T’zu-hsi entered the Forbidden City in Peking. The daunting walls, enormous buildings and massive pillars loomed around her as she walked deeper and deeper into its confines. She entered the palace as a timid young girl, but it was from within these walls that she would keep her claws around all of China. Marina Warner describes the life of this ruthless enchantress in The Dragon Empress, an essential read for understanding Chinese culture during the 18th and early 19th centuries....   [tags: Marina Warner The Dragon Empress]

Research Papers
787 words (2.2 pages)

Antigone, the Real Tragic Hero in Sophocles' Antigone Essay

- Antigone is a great Greek tragedy by Sophocles. The story is about a young woman who has buried her brother by breaking king’s decree, and now she is punished for obeying God’s law. There are many arguments about who is the tragic hero in Sophocles’ Antigone. Some believe that it is Creon because he also has the characteristics of a tragic hero. Others believe that it is Antigone because the play bears her name. Antigone is the perfect hero, to exemplify the meaning of a tragic hero. In order to determine whether Antigone is the tragic hero, one will have to answer the question, what is a tragic hero....   [tags: Antigone]

Research Papers
643 words (1.8 pages)

Sailing to Byzantium Essay

- Sailing to Byzantium In W.B. Yeats, “Sailing to Byzantium” the narrator is an older man looking at his life with detest as the way it appears now. He is holding resent for the way the young get to live their lives and how he lives his now. The narrator is dealing with the issue of being older and his sadness of worth in this life, and who is later able to come to terms and accept his life. In “Sailing to Byzantium” the poem is broken up into four stanzas, each describing a different part of the voyage and the feeling associate with it....   [tags: W.B. Yeats Sailing to Byzantium Essays]

Research Papers
1169 words (3.3 pages)

The Tragic Downfalls of Creon and Antigone in Sophocles' Antigone Essays

- The hubris resonating throughout the play, ‘Antigone’ is seen in the characters of Creon and Antigone. Their pride causes them to act impulsively, resulting in their individual downfalls. In his opening speech, Creon makes his motives clear, that “no man who is his country’s enemy shall call himself my friend.” This part of his declaration was kept to the letter, as he refused burial for his nephew, Polynices. However, when the situation arises where it is crucial that Creon takes advice, he neglects the part of the speech where he says “a king......   [tags: antigone]

Research Papers
712 words (2 pages)

Essay on Byzantium - Deep Desires that Transcend Time

- Byzantium  - Deep Desires that Transcend Time       William Butler Yeats wrote two poems which are together known as the Byzantium series. The first is "Sailing to Byzantium," and its sequel is simply named "Byzantium." The former is considered the easier of the two to understand. It contains multiple meanings and emotions, and the poet uses various literary devices to communicate them. Two of the most dominant themes of this poem are the desire for escape from the hardships of this world and the quest for immortality....   [tags: Sailing Byzantium Essays]

Research Papers
925 words (2.6 pages)

Righteous Judgement in Antigone Essay

- At the beginning of the play, Antigone brought Ismene outside the city gates at night for a top secret meeting. Antigone wanted to bury her brother Polyneices' body because even though he died in dishonor he was her brother. Ismene refused to disobey the king which is also their Uncle Creon, and she failed to talk Antigone out of doing the act herself. "Consider, sister, how our father died,/hated and infamous; how he brought to light/his own offenses..Then, mother...did shame/violently on her life, with twisted cords....   [tags: Antigone, ]

Research Papers
936 words (2.7 pages)

Life of the Soul Revealed in Sailing to Byzantium and Shadows Essay

- Life of the Soul Revealed in Sailing to Byzantium and Shadows         The view of death from an aged individual can be one of acceptance of his life’s end or one of mystified wonder over the immortality of the soul. Both William Butler Yeats and David Herbert Lawrence take the latter view in their respective poems, "Sailing to Byzantium" and "Shadows." By viewing death as a continuation of their soul’s life in a different realm of being, they provide a comforting solution to the fear that death may be the end of their existence....   [tags: Sailing Byzantium Essays]

Research Papers
2589 words (7.4 pages)

Essay on Symbolism and Style in Yeats' Byzantium and Joyce's The Dead

- Symbolism and Style in Yeats' “Byzantium” and Joyce's “The Dead” James Joyce and William Butler Yeats are perhaps the two most prominent modernist writers of the twentieth century, and both have left their unique stylistic legacies to English literature. Though these fellow Irishmen wrote at the same time, their drastically different styles reveal distinctions in their characters and standpoints, and comparing them provides intriguing glimpses into two deeply individual minds. One area in which an obvious difference in approach exists is the way each uses symbolism; whereas Yeats often uses a heavy symbolism placed in the foreground of his works to reveal broader truths and ideological bel...   [tags: Yeats Byzantium Joyce Dead Essays]

Research Papers
2468 words (7.1 pages)

Aunt Jennifer's Tigers by Adrienne Rich Essay

- Aunt Jennifer's Tigers by Adrienne Rich Who is Aunt Jennifer. Does she even exist. I had to ask myself these questions before even going further into the poem. The answers opened the door to a deeper meaning behind Aunt Jennifer's Tigers. Based on Adrienne Rich's background I believe Aunt Jennifer did exist. However, Aunt Jennifer was not Rich's aunt. Aunt Jennifer represented women all over the world, particularly women in American, who were caught under the oppressive hand of a patriarchal society....   [tags: Aunt Jennifer's Tigers]

Research Papers
1074 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Antigone: Worthy of Being Admirable

- Antigone is an admirable character in some aspects through out the play. Her pride basically serves as a building block to her being admirable. Certain examples through out the play prove this to be true ,but in some instances the end result is negative. A big example of this was her willingness to bury her brother accepting any consequences. To Antigone the Gods are more important than any subject ,and Creon seems to think that he is at their level of standing just because he is king....   [tags: Antigone]

Free Essays
300 words (0.9 pages)

Related Searches

This makes the people of Thebes more sympathetic to her, make them truly understand her plight, although none of them would dare come up against the will of their king Creon. Even though Antigone has no one, even though her own sister Ismene choice not to assist her in her brothers burial, Antigone keeps going, suicidal focused on her brother, almost incestuously so, as one line in the play states, she "will lie with the one she loves, loved by him," of Polynices. ("Analysis of Major Characters.") Antigone is my literary hero, because she tosses aside all other cares to treat her brother's body, as the gods would have it.

Theodora is one of my historic heroes. She helped promote women's rights through out her empire, passing laws favoring abortion and protecting divorced women, and also making it so women who committed adultery could not legally be stoned to death, as was the previous tradition. ("Theodora, Empress of Byzantium." 2004. ) She closed brothels, preventing some of the heavy prostitution and gambling that was occurring during the time of her rule. Not only did she have the respect and devotion of her people, but her own husband made her joint ruler of Byzantium, allowing her to shoulder a great deal of political responsibility and become, in essence, a ruler on her own. She even saved both their leaderships during a rebellion, forcing Justinian, her husband, to stay through a rebellion instead of fleeing as was advised. Theodora reached these great heights of achievement, despite poor and humble beginnings as a bear keeper’s daughter, and also as an actress. She worked in the hippodrome as a "slapstick comedian", who dazzled audiences with her ability to dodge the many comedic blows without being fazed. Justinian fell in love with her despite the law against high-class citizens marrying people of low birth. The emperor at the time changed the law to accommodate his heir's marriage, he himself having married a slave, who died shortly before the law was passed. (Deihl, Charles.) Theodora has become my historic hero through her work to preserve women's rights and her amazing advancements, and her own ruler ship of Byzantium.

My personal hero has had a great and immense effect on my life. My great aunt Alice has helped me and my family through many rough times, through her financial and emotional support for many years. She helped me through the very beginning of my life, caring for me through almost the first full year of my infancy while my mother was in the hospital with blood clots and complications involving my birth >>. Not only that, but during the first five or six years of my life I stayed at her apartment, developing my imagination, because she only had basic cable television, which was not a bad thing, because I learned how to make my own entertainment. I never had too much interaction with children my own age, so by the time I was three or four I could pretty much speak clearly and had a great vocabulary, thanks to my great aunt. She never babied me, or tried to talk me down in anyway, but always treated me as an equal with my own thoughts and ideas, supporting my creativity by supplying me with any art supplies I happened to need. As the years went by, she also supported my love of horses, paying for seven years of equestrian lessons, and finally, boarding fees for my own horse. She worked her whole life as a nurse, and taught nursing, but was retired just a few years before I was born. She has always tried to help people who she felt needed it, and has never faltered in her support, even through her old age. Now my aunt is about eighty years old, and she still volunteers at Wilson hospital, working in the hospital sweet shop, or gift shop, still trying to be an avid member of society, and still trying to help as many people as she can. My aunt is a hero to me because she always tries to help her family and friends, no matter the cost to herself.

Antigone, Theodora, and my great aunt Alice are all heroes in my eyes. They all managed to do great things with their lives, long and short as they were and are respectively. These women devoted their lives to a cause, and have never given up on it, from fiction, past, and present, these women influence my life and make me strive to do better, strive to achieve more then others believe is possible. These most certainly heroic women all influence me in great ways.

Works Cited

"Analysis of Major Characters." 2003. Barnes and Noble. 23 Feb. 2004 .

Deihl, Charles. Theodora, Empress of Byzantium. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1972.

Sophocles. Antigone. Trans. Reginald Gibbons and Charles Segal. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

"Theodora, Empress of Byzantium." 2004. About. 23 Feb. 2004 .
Return to