Antigone and the Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea: Death of the Main Character

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In both “Antigone”, written by Sophocles, and “The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea”, written by Mishima, the main character dies at the end of the work. Interestingly though, both of the characters, Antigone and Ryuji, appear to contribute to their own deaths, as if choosing to die.

Antigone is a strong-willed and determined young woman. Throughout the play she continuously stands up for herself and for her beliefs, refusing to back down to any person, man or woman. She buries her brother because she believes it is the right thing to do, she wants to obey the Gods and her brother’s honor; although Creon, the ruler of Thebes, condemns this act and threatens the punishment of death for anyone who disobeys him. Creon’s death threat does not stop Antigone from doing what she believes is right. “I will lie by his side far longer is there need I satisfy those neither Powers, than powers in earth; for there for ever I must lie. You, if you will, holdup to scorn what is approved of Heaven!” When Creon discovers that someone disobeyed him, he gets furious and threatens to kill whoever did it. “The real actor in this funeral, death, by itself, shall not suffice for you, before, hung up alive, you have revealed the secret of this outrage; that henceforth you may seek plunder-not without respect of where your profit lies”. Antigone, unlike her sister Ismene, does not fear Creon or the punishment of death. When Creon confronts Antigone about burying her brother, she does not try to deny it. “I say I did it; I deny it not.” Creon then gives Antigone many opportunities to save herself from death; yet each time she refuses to take the easy way out and she insists on accepting the punishment. First Creon asks Antigone if she knew that the act of the burial was forbidden: “Now tell me, not at length, but in brief space, knew you the order not to do it?” expecting Antigone to say that she did not and he then would not have to punish her. Antigone refuses to accept the...
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