The Yin And Yang Of Sophocles Antigone

Good Essays
The Yin and Yang of Sophocles’ Antigone “A round of yin, then a round of yang, that equals Tao” (Fallon). Just like yin and yang, obligation to one’s people and one’s family must be balanced in order to achieve harmony. This is best seen in Sophocles’ Antigone, where Antigone is the yin with a fatal commitment to her brother and Creon is the yang with a staunch resolve to uphold the laws of his kingdom. Both these characters are lacking a crucial element of the other, and consequently reach a tragic end. However due to Creon’s conviction throughout and responsibility, his guilt and moment of catharsis ultimately makes him the more tragic character. In this paper, I will show how each character reaches their unfortunate demise due to their …show more content…
Creon faced more guilt, and a much more cathartic end. While Antigone lost both her brothers in one fell swoop, Creon was directly responsible for his son and wife's death. This wracks Creon with guilt making him state, “Ah me, this guilt can never be fixed on any other of mortal kind, for my acquittal! I, even I, was thy slayer, wretched that I am-I own the truth.” Additionally after the passing of his wife and son, he reaches a moment of catharsis where he realizes he deserves his fate, “Oh, let it come, let it appear, that fairest of fates for me, that brings my last day,-aye, best fate of all! Oh, let it come, that I may never look upon to-morrow's light” (Sophocles). While Antigone never even gets a moment of catharsis, this moment elevates Creon’s tragedy in particular because of how adamant he was throughout the play. His stubbornness makes his catharsis all the more redeming and sympathetic. A similar effect can be seen with the Andy Murray. His “aloofness and volatility” made him come across as “petulant, spoiled, even unpatriotic” in the public’s eye. However after a single moment of humanity and weakness, he quickly “won over the British public” (Van). The combination of Creon’s guilt and acknowledgement of his mistakes overshadows the misfortunes of Antigone. Sophocles’ Antigone featured two characters that worked as perfect foils for each other, Antigone and Creon. Both characters were trapped in their own mindsets and thusly received their just deserts. Had either character considered the others perspective the play would not have ended the way it did, with Creon as the more tragic

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    People do not like change, and Heathcliff causes just that in the Earnshaw’s home. Heathcliff, not only unwelcome, but described as the gypsy boy, does not help his case when it comes to the family accepting him, specifically Hindley. He views Heathcliff as an invalid. Hindley “hated him” to such a degree that at every chance he saw Heathcliff, he would find some way to abuse him either mentally or physically (Bronte 37). This animosity between Heathcliff and Hindley contributed to the hateful relationship that these two characters shared.…

    • 1518 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    After the death of his mother and wife, Jocasta, he had realized his truth, identity, and how his life is filled with darkness. Oedipus had caused so much wrath to himself and all the other people in his society. He becomes blinded to the truth that he killed his father, King Laius, and anxious when Tiresias, Apollo 's servant, informs him his real identity and truth. Oedipus argues with Tiresias…

    • 1950 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    My own blind heart has brought me From darkness to final darkness. Here you see the father murdering, the murdered son- And all my civic wisdom.” After seeing Antigone and Haemon dead Creon realizes he has made an irreversible mistake when he sees them dead and he takes the blame for their deaths, all because of him thinking what he was doing was right, Creon taking the blame for something that he regrets and can 't be changed anymore is an example of being a tragic hero. All of the above shows Creon is a tragic hero and that after the deaths of Antigone and Haemon,…

    • 1225 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    People viewed the A as “ inflicting a hideous torture on himself.” (228). This makes sense because he has been known to hold his heart with a sign of pain. Hester can even see the inner conflicting morals of Dimmesdale and how they are mentally tearing him down. She starts to realize that the punishment of guilt may be worse than keeping his secret after all. Seeing him this way she couldn’t help but to think “whether there had not originally been a defect of truth, courage, and loyalty, on her own part, in allowing the minister to be thrown into a position where so much evil was to be forboded, and nothing auspicious to be hoped.”(145).…

    • 1374 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He cannot even defend the motives he had offered before. In the end, Iago fails to justify and explain his actions and motives and becomes the symbol of evil for the audience. Iago is a true Shakespearean villain and perhaps the most sinister of them all. Much like Iago, Henry Higgins is also admired for his charm and cleverness. He is utterly rude and disrespectful, and seems to have none of the manners he preaches to everyone.…

    • 1543 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The way their guilt slowly consumes their whole-being, and later destroys them is a similarity between the texts. Apart from the wrongdoers, the victim’s share a harsher fate. After all, it’s only called betrayal if the one that wronged you was a close acquaintance, so one must always be…

    • 442 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Iago Psychopath Analysis

    • 1341 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Selfishness is a character trait shared by other characters in the play , but can even come close to the selfishness that Iago holds. One of the first indicators is that Iago, who made an elaborate plot to ruin Othello’s life, has never shown a true motive. Although having excuses, Iago never specifies a motive for his “monstrous plan” and the further he goes , the more it seems that Iago is doing this for his own pleasure. When he is finally able to convince Othello that Cassio and Desdemona have had an affair, Othello is so shocked he falls to the ground. Iago proud of his lies and how well Othello is reacting to them, is happy and wants his “...medicine...”(4.1.44) to “work on “(4.1.43).…

    • 1341 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Othello Jealousy Theme

    • 1138 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The jealous nature of Iago was unfruitful and had no good result. The helpless lover Roderigo was bound by a helpless love that resulted in missteps from cause of jealousy. Lastly, the great Othello was taken control over by a jealous rage that completely submerged and that he had no control over. The theme of jealousy within the play was evident throughout, and those…

    • 1138 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    People who perform these actions are so ostracized that even sharing thoughts with them is undesirable: “He who is so, may he never share my hearth! May he never think my thoughts” (373-375). The complete abhorrence of any person who flaunts the law is obvious throughout the last piece of the second chorus. This abhorrence helps to explain why the play ended so…

    • 843 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Creon admits that it was his “blind heart” that spawned his imminent demise and brought him to his “final darkness.” Pride, indeed, undergirds the primary conflicts in Antigone, and Creon realizes that his abuse of authority and power as a result of his hubris emerges as a source of self-destruction rather than strength. Indeed, both Haimon and Antigone take their own lives, which is what causes Creon to have an epiphany and see the errors of his ways. Creon proves unable to shed his hubris and empathize with Antigone, as he cannot see the world through the eyes of others. He falls from a position of great wealth and immense power by standing up for what he believes in despite what the…

    • 732 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays