Unveiling the Complex Character of Antigone in Sophocles’ Tragedy

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The Legacy of Antigone

Antigone may be a Greek tragedy played by Sophocles. Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus and Iocaste. Antigone features a sister named Ismene and two brothers named Polyneices and Eteocles, who fight and kill one another. It’s in their death the matter arises. Polyneices wasn’t given a correct burial as he returned to assault Thebes after he was driven out of the dominion. And Antigone wanted to offer him a decent burial, breaking the laws of King Creon (Iocaste’s brother).

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Antigone’s Devotion and Bravery

Antigone may be a loving sister who is willing to try to do anything for her brother. She is conscious of all the misfortunes that happened to her family. She decides to offer rest to the soul of Polyneices by burying his body, which may be a duty of a loving sister even at the value of losing her life. I shall lie with him in death, and I shall be as dear to him as he is to me. These lines show the depth of affection that she has for her brother. It’s my nature to hitch crazy, maybe a clear proof stated by Antigone herself about her character.

Challenging Authority and Social Norms

Antigone knew what was right and was bold enough to try to do it. She isn’t bothered about the consequence. Giving the dead an honest burial is the right thing to try to do. This is often what the Gods want. Also, she knows the law of the king, yet risks her life to try to do what’s right, albeit the king is against it. Creon isn’t enough to face in my way; these words of Antigone prove her boldness in taking risks and an attitude to face anyone who comes in her way. Antigone knows no fears. She knows she is going against the law, and her sister Ismene threatens her that she will inform others. She isn’t scared of it; on the contrary, she asks her to proclaim that to everyone. Ismene is shocked to listen to it and says you ought to be cold with fear, while Antigone says I’m not scared of the danger which shows her attitude towards fear,

The Enigma of Antigone

Antigone fears God, the sole authority that she abides. Not even the king. It had been not God’s proclamation. That final justice that rules the planet below makes no such laws. These lines stated by Antigone assert that consistent with her, only God deserves to give the ultimate verdict. Antigone isn’t afraid to face alone for the proper. All the citizens of Thebes knew Creon’s verdict was wrong. Still, nobody dared to face him or tell the king about his mistake. She dared. She also addresses him as an Unjustly judge and points out his act ahead of everyone.

Antigone isn’t bothered about her female sex or her gender roles, which are laid by society to curtail her limits. When Creon learns about the burial asks, therefore, the man who dared do this? Not a lady. Ismene also says we are only women; we cannot fight with men, Antigone! Which represents the voices of society. Crossing norms, she did what she desired. Antigone denied nothing when she was accused. She didn’t want to inform lies to flee things, rather faced it.

She wasn’t afraid, not even once we charged her with what she had done. She denied nothing, maybe a certifying statement made by the Sentry that proves her determination. She has never learned to yield, maybe discuss Antigone by the top of the chorus, Choragos on her unyielding attitude. Consistent with her, she has not done anything wrong to be ashamed of. So she didn’t want to simply accept her deed as an error by yielding to them rather than arguing with the king.

Antigone isn’t scared of death and has complete control over her life. She calls death a sleepy death as she considers herself more energetic and powerful than death. When Creon pronounces her death sentence, she ‘simply’ says to Guards, come; allow us to wait not; that shows her eagerness to taste death that she couldn’t await it. She shows her control over her life by killing herself. Being killed by somebody else may be a sort of dependency on Antigone.

She does have a pinch of masculinity in her attitude, but she is so beautiful to the eyes that compared to the mythological character Danae (All Danae’s beauty) by Choragos, whose beauty attracted Zeus and also kept other suitors hooked. This beauty keeps Haimon, son of Creon hooked on Antigone that he even fights against his father; he also kills himself after her death to measure together with her in ‘the house of the Dead’ These constitute the character of Antigone that creates her the protagonist of the play Antigone, by Sophocles.


  1. Sophocles. Antigone.
  2. Fagles, Robert. Antigone. Penguin Classics, 1984.
  3. Segal, Charles. Sophocles’ Tragic World: Divinity, Nature, Society. Harvard University Press, 1995.
  4. Knox, Bernard M. W. “The Oedipus Cycle: Myth and Structure.” In The Heroic Temper: Studies in Sophoclean Tragedy. University of California Press, 1979.
  5. Pucci, Pietro. Sophocles: The Plays and Fragments, Volume 1: With Critical Notes, Commentary and Translation in English Prose. Walter de Gruyter, 2018.
  6. Kitto, H. D. F. Greek Tragedy: A Literary Study. Routledge, 1991.
  7. Winnington-Ingram, R. P. Sophocles: An Interpretation. Cambridge University Press, 1980.
  8. Belfiore, Elizabeth S. Tragic Pleasures: Aristotle on Plot and Emotion. Princeton University Press, 1992.

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Unveiling the Complex Character of Antigone in Sophocles' Tragedy. (2023, Aug 11). Retrieved from https://edusson.com/examples/unveiling-the-complex-character-of-antigone-in-sophocles-tragedy

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