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Determination in Antigone

Good morning all, my topic is determination in Antigone. Determination plays a very important role in the play Antigone. Despite the important role of fate in the play, most of the characters did everything they could to pursue or to achieve their goals by any means. For instance, Antigone was so stubborn and death was not a hindrance for her in achieving her goal. She was very determined to achieve her goal that is to bury her brother Polynices. We can see a lot of determination in all the characters in the play Antigone. Every specific character has their own goal and determination which helps them to get to where they want to be.

Let’s start with Antigone. Antigone is the protagonist here and we can see a lot of determination in her character. She was very self-righteous and her reason for going against the law is that Creon the king ordered his men to not bury Polynices as he betrayed the country. This made Antigone rebellious. She was very determined to do what she thought was right even though this act going against the king requires her to defy the secular law. She knows the consequences of her action but she didn’t care. She had to bury her brother as she owed that to him.

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There are many lines in the book which emphasizes her determination on burying Polynices and her determination to die. The line “he will do what he has to do, and we will do what we have to do” on page 18 emphasizes on her determination to bury her brother. “he will do what he has to do” shows that She knew that by burying her brother, Creon will put her to death, but this was not going to stop her from doing what she thought was right. The line “I am not listening to you” on page 20 is one of the most important line in the book. Ismene tried to make her understand but she was so determined not to listen to anyone.

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She had to do what she thought was right and nobody could stop her from doing what she wanted. She was not afraid of death. The line “I’m not playing games” shows her resilience and also shows that she was serious and knew the punishment of going against the law very well. The line “I must go and bury my brother” on page 45 again emphasizes her determination in achieving her goal. She had to carry on; she feels that it is her duty towards Polynices.

Antigone was also very determined to die. She wanted to die; death was seen as something very respectable. She did not want the second chance Creon offers her. “Have me put to death” this line clearly shows she insisted on dying. the most important line in the whole book according to me is when Antigone said to Creon “I am here to say no to you, and die” this line really shows her true nature and her determination on going against whatever Creon says and also emphasizes her determination to die. Jean Anouilh’s style of writing is such that it makes sure that the audience knows that there was no conflict in Antigone’s mind and also tells the reader that Antigone wants to die.

During her conversation with Ismene, when Ismene decided to die with Antigone, Antigone stated that “you don’t deserve it” here the audience can see that Antigone takes death as a reward and she doesn’t think Ismene deserves that. Death was something to be proud of in antigone’s opinion this all shows that Antigone has a very determined character and jean Anouilh has used words that assures us that she was determined to get whatever she wants doing even though by doing that she would be put to death.

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Determination can also be seen In Creon’s character. Creon as the king is very determined to follow the secular law and would punish anyone that goes against it. He has surrendered himself completely to the throne. When he knew about Antigone’s action he was willing to give her a 2nd chance but as she was so persistent on dying Creon stick to his law and did put her to death.

Creon thought it was very stupid of her to bury her brother. He didn’t want to kill her as he knew that it would deeply sadden Haemon. “I cant stop them” this line shows that Creon could have stopped the guards from taking Antigone but he was determined to abide to the laws he has created. Creon was a very determined character as shown by jean Anouilh.

Eurydice was Creon’s wife. She was also a very determined character. She knits a lot. She is very determined in doing her work and she never stopped knitting. After hearing the news that Haemon died, she continued knitting and after a while, she stopped and then killed herself. The thread is a symbolism of her life.

Ismene I think lacked determination. She was not sure what to do. She was always in a conflict. At first Ismene decided not to help Antigone because she wants to abide by the law and she feels women should not fight with men. She tried to influence Antigone but she was not successful. Then Ismene decided to die with Antigone, but she was not allowed as Antigone thinks she didn’t deserve to die. This shows that she lacked determination.

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I think determination is one of the most important theme in the play. Every character is driven by a determination to achieve their goal.

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Determination in Antigone. (2021, Sep 28). Retrieved September 30, 2022, from