Essay about Antigone & Creon: Pride vs. Power

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Original date: 03/28/12
Revision date: 05/24/12

Antigone & Creon: Pride or Power?

“I will suffer nothing as great as death without glory” –Antigone

According to Aristotle, the most important factor in a Greek tragedy is the plot. The plot must tell the actions of characters from beginning to end. Though, without the characters, the plot has nowhere to go. In Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone, each character has a distinct personality and strong beliefs. The heroine, Antigone, has some of the strongest beliefs of them all. Antigone is willing to sacrifice her own life and well being to honor her fallen brother, Polyneices. Polyneices was killed in battle by her other brother Eteocles.
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Creon orders Eteocles’ body to be buried and “crowned with a hero’s honors” (line 220). Polyneices, although he is Creon’s nephew, is passionately hated by Creon and thus, his remains are ordered to not be “dignified” (line 228) with a burial. Antigone is disgusted that Creon has put a claim on Polyneices body and begins contemplating burying her brother against Creon’s requests not to. She confronts her sister, Ismene, in order to ask for help. Ismene is quite apprehensive and Antigone pursues to take matters in to her own hands and bury Polyneices where his body lays even though Creon had put a death punishment on anyone who defied his wishes. She does this to show the people of Thebes and Creon that no one except a god can deem a human honorable or dishonorable. This is when the people of Thebes decide whether Antigone should have honored King Creon’s law or did the right thing by burying her brother and establishing glory in her family. This storyline provides insight to how each of the characters think and feel about the situations at hand. It gives every side of the story and gives the reader an option to create his or her own opinions on morality and the actions of the characters.
Although Antigone’s actions appear more masculine than the actions of other females in Thebes, she represents a strong female character. This is very rare in Greek literature. She wants Polyneices to be given the same glory as Eteocles and believes

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