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Antigone Essay, Research Paper

Antigone, The Tragic Heroine

Antigone risks her life to bury her brother, Polyneices, who she loved dearly. As she pleased the Gods, she was punished by a King, Creon. Antigone was the main character or heroine in this tragic tale. She is a tragic character because we feel pity and fear for her.

Sophocles wrote this play so we, the audience, would feel sorry for the protagonist, Antigone. We feel pity for her because she is being punished by King Creon, sentenced to death, standing up for what she believes is good and right in her eyes and in th e eyes of the Gods. Antigone knows it is better to follow the laws of the Gods that disobey them and follow the laws of a mortal, Creon. “It is the dead, not the living that make the longest demands: we die forever…you may do as you like, since apparently the laws of the Gods mean nothing to you.”(I.59-62) Antigone understands that life is only temporary, but death is forever and this is why she stresses the importance of following the laws of the Gods. It was sad when Antigone knew she would have to die although she was doing a good deed. Antigone said to Ismene, “You a re alive, but I belong to Death.”(II.148)

When Antigone said this she was pleading with Ismene not to confess for the burying because she wasn’t responsible and Antigone didn’t want her sister to die. Antigone said this knowing that she would soon be exec uted for breaking the civil law of King Creon or that she would kill herself if kept in a small cell away from all those who she loved. She knew she would soon be with her family: her brothers and parents.

We were afraid for Antigone because her fate was already known just like Oedipus’ fate, she would die. She is such a brave person to bury her brother while risking her life and going against Kind Creon laws. “I have seen this gathering sorrow from time long past loom upon Oedipus’ children: generatio n from generation…”(OdeII.8-10) The chorus meant that they knew that all of Oedipus’ children haven’t died with such sadness and sorrow by coincidence. It has all been a part of Oedipus’ curse.

Poor Antigone was to be pitied from birth since she was pa rt of Oedipus’ family and a part of his curse. She was to have the same fate as her brothers, father, and mother. Antigone killed herself just as her mother did; they hung themselves. We wanted Antigone to succeed because we know that Antigone is doing the “right thing” by burying her brother, pleasing the Gods, and following her heart.

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