The Character of Antigone

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In the play Antigone by Sophocles, the character Antigone emerges as the main character. Antigone is a powerful female and a heroine of the story. She faces a political state that is in conflict with her human nature. She is loyal to her traits until the end even after she is sentenced to death. As the play unfolds, various characters traits of the character emerge. The character faces a lot of challenges from the start due to this traits, but she manages to retrain them till the end. Therefore, in the play, Antigone exhibits many character traits of a strong personality that make her emerge as the true winner at the end.

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First, Antigone opposes the law of Creon and buries her slain brother since in her mind it was not morally right not to. She appears as a young girl who rises alone against a state to fight for what her brother. She must ensure that her brother is buried which means she has to defy the temporal rule that Creon her uncle had placed. She says ... Creon they say has sworn that no one shall bury him, or one mourn for him, but his body must lie in the fields...." (190). She had to do it for her brother as an owned duty. She does this with compassion and the love of her brother.

Secondly, Antigone portrays her determination by accepting her consequences with pride. She takes responsibility and takes all the credit for breaking Creon's laws. She is well aware of the death penalty awaiting her, but she still chooses to bury her brother. "They say that no woman has with no reason, died a shameful death for a generous act" (218). A quote emphasizes on the way she embraced her death.

Friends, countrymen, I make my last farewell; my journey is done.One fond, longing, lingering look I takeAt the bright sun.For Death who puts both young and old to sleepHales my life as young,And beckons to Acheron's dark fold,An unmarried wife.No songs of marriage have been sung by the youths for me,My bridal bedNo strewn flowers from the lea for the brides,'Death I wed. (806-813)

This presents her as an undoubted strong-willed woman who is willing to do anything for family. When she is apprehended by the guards whose aim was to prevent the burial, she accuses Creon of treason and with equal ferocity. She emerges as immensely heroic, for she alone seems to understand that the kings law is inferior to divine law and that if a sacrifice is required to follow the right, such sacrifice must be made.

The way Creon judged Antigones crime was too harsh. Antigone just wanted to bury his brother. The act was morally right as it seemed the gods seemed to agree with it. She says I will bury him despite and if I must die, I say that the crime is holy (192). The footprints that would show Antigones crime disappeared mysteriously. Also, the divine power intervened again when a raging storm covered the body of his brother after some sentry and friends try to remove dust from it. She trusts the tribunal of the gods (458) more than Creons judgment. The storm covers it again. Thus, with all this support from divine power Creon has no chance to fight against the gods and has to lessen or completely remove the sentence.

In conclusion, it is evidence that Antigone is an incredibly independent and a strong woman. She successfully sticks to her morals from the start to the end despite taking her to an early grave. She ignores the harsh treats from Creon and continues to be loyal to her family and being family-oriented. Though Creons harsh punishment is given, she takes it with a brave face.


Sophocles, and David D. Mulroy. Madison, Wis. Antigone: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2013. Internet resource. Read more

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