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Antigone Literary Analysis Essay

Sophocles Antigone

The interesting, though the short story of Antigone is a story of a young maiden, Antigone, and her short, and in the end, fatal quest to restore honour to her dead brother, who died under treasonous circumstances. She finds herself fighting the new king, Her uncle, who started her ill-fated adventure by refusing her brother’s burial, thus stripping him of his honour. Antigone’s story is full of hate, anger and loathing, but also of love which in the end spells death for them all.

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In the end, due to confusion, Antigone commits suicide, thinking that she would be imprisoned forever, only to have her lover, Haemon finds her dead when he came to rescue her. He hangs himself alongside her, which prompts his father, the king to kill himself as well.

There are a few important characters with powerful and unique personalities. Antigone, the smart, strong, beautiful maiden who was so steadfast in her beliefs that she died for them, notwithstanding her upcoming marriage. King Creon, stubborn, self-centred glut who has to have his way, even if it means killing his son’s bride. Haemon, more neutral than anything, trying to be the voice of reason to his semi-crazy father, and full of love towards Antigone. Ismene, sister of Antigone, weak at first, but would later grow strong to go with Antigone towards possible death.

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After Antigone’s traitorous brother is killed in combat, the new king decides to let the body sit there and decompose, letting the dogs and birds eat it. Would this lead to any signs or deductions on how the ancient Greeks thought of dead bodies and their role in eternal life?

After Creon imprisons Antigone, Haemon, his son, talks to him about the wisdom of his actions, and all the thought, or lack thereof that went into the decision.
Creon: Am I to rule this city by other judgment than mine own?
Haemon: That is no city, which belongs to one man.
Creon: Is not the city held to be the rulers?
Haemon: Thou wouldst make a good monarch of the desert.

What this means is that King Creon was only thinking about what he wanted. The government at the time was a monarchy, and he had just barely inherited the throne from his brother, Antigone’s father, so he wasn’t very practiced in the arts of Kingship. His thoughts were that he was the king and that that meant that he could do whatever he wanted. He didn’t take into consideration the wants of the people.

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