Antigone-Character Motives

Topics: Sophocles, Oedipus, Tragedy Pages: 2 (643 words) Published: February 4, 2013
Many people throughout history have perished or suffered for their beliefs or their religion. The story of, Antigone, includes many examples of martyrs and the ways they suffer for their beliefs. Although they do not have the same actions, Creon and Antigone share the same motive of restoring respect to their despised, incestual family through different ways. Some examples are such as how Antigone tries through gaining honor as the last great leader of her kin and how Creon attempts by using power as the ruler of Thebes. Through these two characters, Sophocles, one of the three ancient Greek tragedians, tries to convey the idea to the reader that no matter the circumstances, remain loyal to the gods. Antigone, acting as the protagonist in this Greek tragedy, undergoes the constant torment of fate throughout the story while trying to restore her family’s reputation without dishonoring the gods. Her brother Polynices is described by Creon as a traitor to the empire for attacking the city of Thebes and perishing in battle and no one in the city may bury him. Antigone’s sister, Ismene, warns her about the consequences of burying Polynices by stating, “What? You’d bury him when the law forbids the city?”, and Antigone replies with a prominent, “Yes!” (61). Ismene refuses to help Antigone with her brother’s burial and Antigone tells her,”Do as you like, dishonor the laws the gods hold in honor”(62). Antigone tries to use the act of giving her brother a rightful burial as a heroic way to restore honor to her family, without dishonoring the gods. Knowing that she will suffer for her actions, Antigone values divine authority over human authority to make herself known as a martyr by dying for her belief. Through making herself known as the last great hero of her family by suffering, and then dying for her beliefs, she restores honor to her family while also showing the beneficial consequences of siding with the gods.

Similarly, Creon tries to restore...
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