Emotion conveys a real human being behind the words. Emotion conveys to one that the writer cares about what they write about. This is shown through the characters in the story and the vibes of empathy they give the reader. It puts the reader in relationship with the work. This is exactly what Sophocles did in Antigone; he was a master at creating pity in his audience. In Robert Fagles translation of Antigone, Sophocles evokes pity through similes, foreshadowing, and the tone he establishes towards Antigone.
Antigone’s wish of her obligation to bury Polynices, created pity through similes. When the sentry entered to tell Creon who had buried Polynices, he said, “[Antigone] cried out a sharp, piercing cry, like a bird [coming] back to an empty nest, peering into its bed, and all the babies gone….Just so, when [Antigone] sees the corpse bare she bursts into a long wail and calls down withering curses on the heads of all who did the work” (Sophocles 470-476). This action Antigone had done brings compassion and pity to the reader because she sacrifices her life just to give her dead brother a proper burial. She had to go through all the deaths of her mom, Oedipus, and now both her brothers. The hardship and pain she has been through brings pity to the reader for her. The simile compares her to a mother bird to describe her caring and compassionate ways. Another simile is when Tiresias says, “I loose them like an archer in my anger, arrows deadly true. You’ll never escape their burning, searing force” (Sophocles 1207-1209). Tiresias is saying that his prophecies are never a lie and that no matter what Creon does, it is still a fact that he can not avoid. Creon will never escape the misery if he does not listen to Tiresias but because of Creon’s hubris he will kill his wife, Haemon, and Antigone. Pity is created for Creon because he has also become the tragic hero because he unknowingly is digging a hole for himself by not listening to Tiresias....
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