Antigone Literary Analysis

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Antigone is a Shakespearean tragedy which always presents a person whose main purpose is to act as a moral compass for a main character and a main character cursed by fate and hold a tragic flaw. In this story, Antigone is the center topic of the story. With a role of the first woman to rebel against the norms of society, Antigone continues to act in ways she believed was morally correct. Although she is characterized by morality, her unfortunate bloodline fails to escape her true destiny of death. By constructing detailed characters and elaborating the plot structure of a tragic story, Sophocles ultimately creates important themes with plot elements, symbolism, characterization, and historic relevance. The central conflict of Antigone…show more content…
Through direct characterization, Sophocles carefully develops each character’s personality that illuminates symbolization of their societal roles. Creon, the antagonist and the villain of the story, appears as the new head of state and lawgiver in Thebes. He believes that society must be obedient to the his laws and orders. This not only shows the authoritative power of a king, but also symbolizes the accepted roles of men in society. To be superior, prideful, and powerful, these are the characteristics Creon holds which reflect society’s image of men. However, Antigone is appealed to different kind of law: the natural law. For Antigone, natural law pertains to the rules of right and wrong that are fundamental than the laws of a society. For example, Antigone believed that the gods commanded people to give the dead a proper burial. She also considered herself of greater loyalty to her brother than the law of the city of Thebes that prevented her from performing the burial. The wishes of the gods is an example of natural law, but her sense of duty is Antigone’s challenge against the traditional roles of women. Sophocles conveys two messages with these interconnected themes. First, the laws of the state must not contradict natural laws. Second, women are not to be subjugated by men in society. Though gender roles may be less enforced today than…show more content…
A common concern in government is the threat of tyranny. As tyrannies were a common feature in Greek history, it is commonly known that many Greek city-states transitioned from an aristocracy to democracy. A theme of historical relevance, Athenians and Thebans are historically known to be sensitive distinguishing the fine line of a competent leader and a omnipotent tyrant. In this way, Sophocles depicts Creon as a sympathetic but abusive leader of power. For example, at the beginning of the play he frequently desired to do regain stability and order for Thebes and gained confidence through the hierarchical staff that encouraged him. However, as the story proceeds with Antigone’s introduction, we can see that Creon is clearly more concerned with preserving his desires and values than the overall prominence of the city. By referring to historical relevance, Sophocles demonstrates general concerns of citizens and therefore enhances emotional connections to the

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