Antigone Character Analysis From The Play Of Sophocles

Categories: Antigone Plot Sophocles

Antigone, penned by Sophocles, is the final play in the trilogy of tragedies, beginning with King Oedipus. The battle between the two sons of the extinct King Oedipus ends with both dying in battle. With the deaths of two brothers, Uncle Creon, the only remaining man, sits on the throne. Kreon orders that Eteokles, who died to defend his homeland, be buried in a beautiful ceremony, while his other brother Polyneikes is convicted of treason and his body is left in the middle to be eaten by wolves and birds.

Antigone, in defiance of the command, will throw Earth on her brother's body and want to bury with her the shame of people who submit to their fears. Antigone, ignoring the commandments of Creon, who has just taken the throne, listens to the voice of her conscience. Antigone character analysis describes the rebellion of a daredevil woman who took care of her family and risked death for her traditions, against biased laws.

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The main theme of Antigone's game is destiny, while another main theme is individual versus state. Antigone, our character, defies Creon's orders and throws Earth over the dead of his brother Polyneikes. According to him, Polyneikes are not to blame. He advocates the burial of polyneikes in the same way. The relationship between the individual and society is very well understood in the game of Antigone. Throughout history, there has been an important link between the individual and society. This connection has greatly affected human life. In particular, this connection has also been the losing party of the individual himself.

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Almost always in the coming history, the individual has fought a great war against society. Unfortunately, society has always prevailed in this war. Society ignores the individual's thoughts. An individual who goes beyond certain rules and orders is punished. The decision of society is the main decision, and the individual is irrelevant here. At the same time, the individual must comply with the traditions and customs of the society in which he lives. Society has unwritten rules for people to live in order. This is customary. For the order of society to not be disrupted, individuals must be careful.

Societies are formed when individuals come together. Individuals reflect the society in which they live, and individuals have their duties and responsibilities to ensure the well-being of society. Among them comes the culture, tradition and customs of that society, Customs and Customs. The more each person performs his / her duty, the more healthy and happy societies are formed. If a person does not perform their duties, these people can be excluded and shamed by society. In the game Antigone, the character Antigone comes across as a woman who is sincerely committed to her traditions and risked death for the sake of family love. Another important character in the game, Creon, shows himself as a king who wants to accept himself and his authority, so he keeps the friend and enemy of the city separate even after he dies. Here we can take Creon as a society and Antigone as an individual. Antigone advocates his own thinking for the sake of certain things, as every person will do.

 However, Creon punishes everything that is done except his own decisions and thoughts with death. The relationship between the individual and society arises right here. A person defends a situation through their own truth, and this is true, but society clearly rejects this idea. Antigone depends on her own traditions and family. But Kreon has his own truths and displays an authoritarian personality. As a king, whatever he says, it always must be done. Antigone is condemned to death by Creon, opposing the decision not to bury her brother Polyneikes. Alive, The Rock will be placed in the grave and left there for dead. At the end of the work, however, Antigone hangs herself in the grave.

As a result, Antigone, who did not listen to what Kreon said and defended his own right as an individual, was punished by the state and society and became the losing party. Society puts the individual under its own yoke. An individual who opposes society or the state, that is, a power greater than himself, is doomed to lose. Unfortunately, the individual cannot prevail in this battle. But it is also necessary not to ignore such a situation. In the historical process, many people have been excluded and Strange by many people because of their thoughts. Even these people were sometimes executed. But the views of these people are still used today. No matter how much a person comes into conflict with a society, it is important to remember that the person who creates the society is also a person. 

Works cited

  1. Sophocles. (2018). Antigone. Simon and Schuster.
  2. Bridges, M. (2007). Individual vs. society in Sophocles' Antigone. Explicator, 65(4), 235-238.
  3. Cadden, M. (2008). Sophocles' Antigone and the history of the concept of natural law. Political Theory, 36(4), 607-630.
  4. Dillon, S. (2004). Justice and revenge in Sophocles' Antigone. Classical Philology, 99(1), 1-22.
  5. Finglass, P. J. (2017). Antigone: A new translation. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  6. Goldhill, S. (2007). Reading Greek Tragedy. Cambridge University Press.
  7. Heidegger, M. (2000). Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister". Indiana University Press.
  8. Lacan, J. (2001). The Ethics of Psychoanalysis: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book VII. Routledge.
  9. Mills, S. (2019). Sophocles' Antigone and the feminist legacy. Classical World, 113(4), 497-509.
  10. Segal, C. (1999). Antigone's Two Laws: Greek Tragedy and the Politics of Humanism. Fordham University Press.
Updated: Feb 23, 2024
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Antigone Character Analysis From The Play Of Sophocles. (2024, Feb 23). Retrieved from

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