Archetypes In Antigone

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Greek tragedies are known for their predictable endings and characters, whose character traits almost always stereotypically reflect those of the archetype they have been assigned. Sophocles’ play, Antigone, is no exception to this. Despite having been written around 441 B.C., his play does present newer controversial topics such as feminism in his play, along with more common themes such as integrity and loyalty. By establishing and associating Antigone’s character with heroic archetypes as the martyr and the tragic heroine, Sophocles could utilize her actions and characteristics as such roles to better demonstrate and convey his messages throughout his work. Heroic archetypes, such as the tragic heroine and the martyr, were commonly used…show more content…
Such as a tragic heroine, Antigone seemingly receives support from the gods, “Throughout the play there are signs in the natural world that the gods are on the side of Antigone… there are no footprints left beside the body when Antigone first puts dust on Polyneices. It's as if the earth itself is attempting to aid Antigone in her "crime”. We also see divine support for Antigone, when the storm rages outside of Thebes” (Shmoop). Antigone also tries to control her own fate, even though she knows that her family is doomed suffer, as exemplified by her father Oedipus. She tries to control what she can, for example, instead of letting her sister join her in the execution, Antigone declines her and sends her off. Antigone’s most important trait is also the fatal flaw that leads to her own demise. Antigone is so loyal ad determined to bury her brother that she would go against the word of the king to do so. It is because of this determination that she antagonizes Creon into sentencing her to death. Sophocles not only portrays Antigone as a tragic hero, but also as a martyr. She believes in something so much that she is willing to go against the law, and in turn die for it. She believes that even though her brothers fought in each of the leading sides of Thebes’ civil war, it should not matter as they are both part of her and Creon’s family. Antigone “sacrifices her own life in the name of it. Her determination is so strong that her character becomes symbolic of family loyalty or blood ties” (Shmoop). Although she is not trying to teach a lesson per se, she does make an impact on those around her. Her fiancé and his mother both follow suit in Antigone’s suicide, leaving Creon alone in the end to reflect on his actions and their consequences. Antigone’s actions are not the only things that link her to her heroic archetypical role, her motivations for
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