Passage Analyis of Antigone by Sophocles

Good Essays
KC Brunell
World Literature
Passage Analysis
7/23/14

The passage I chose to analyze was part of the conversion between Creon and Antigone after Antigone was caught in her attempt to bury her brother Polynices.
Creon said to Antigone: “Believe me, the stiffest stubborn wills fall the hardest; the toughest iron, tempered strong in the white-hot-fire, you’ll see it crack and shatter first of all.
And I’ve know spirited horses you can break
With a light bit – proud rebellious horses...” (pg 661; 528-533)

When examining this passage, one can recognize that although short in length, this passage is rich with literary techniques that reinforce the significance of the words themselves. The comparison of Antigone’s will to that of iron is an example of a simile, as it is a figure of speech used in which two unlike things, [such as ‘will’ and ‘iron’] are explicitly compared (“simile”). The speaker Creon, King of Thebes, is expressing his anger towards Antigone’s disrespect. She has intentionally defied his law against burying Polyneices, whom he considers a traitor to the state of Thebes. Creon includes this in his dialogue to convey a threat towards Antigone. Because although he compares her will as being as strong as iron and not easily bent or broken, he also says that, the most stubborn people are the ones to fall first. However, one would think “the toughest” of anything would not be the first to break. This seems ironic because in his own argument, he is very stubborn, which leads to his own downfall. In another light, it portrays Antigone’s determination as an ‘iron-will’, giving it a more tangible description as if it can be molded and shaped into tools and/or weapons within the ‘white-hot fire’. This expresses that the power of one’s will, can be deceiving and is an attribute that should not to be underestimated.
Creon also employs several metaphors during the play, particularly with animals. A metaphor is something used or



Cited: "Antigone: Metaphor Analysis ." . Novel Guide, 1 Jan. 1999. Web. 20 July 2014. . “Metaphor”. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 19 Jul. 2014. . “Paradox”.Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 21 Jul. 2014. .) “Simile”. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 19 Jul. 2014. . "Situational Irony." Types Of Irony. Types of Irony , 1 Jan. 2013. Web. 21 July 2014. .

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