The Role of Antigone

4 April 2015
An analysis of the character Antigone in Sophocles’ play by the same name.

The paper analyzes Sophocles’ play “Antigone”, which tells the narrative of the demise of Oedipus’ daughter/sister in the context of the larger tragedy of the rulers of the ancient Greek city of Thebes. The paper discusses how, in the context of the play, Antigone does not only function as a singular individual, experiencing a single dilemma of character, she also functions as a young woman playing several roles. It shows that her first role is that of a bereaved sister, then her role is that of a daughter and sister of a uniquely tragic oedipal house. Finally her role is one of an ordinary woman dying before her time because of the fundamental, fated, and unsolvable conflict between the obligations of blood and obligations of a citizen.
When her crime is discovered, Antigone adopts a new role, that of a woman whom is not only a sister of a dead brother, but also the descendant of a house uniquely battered at torn at by fate who has a unique destiny to fulfill.

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She assumes this destiny in contrast to her sister Ismene. When asked if she feels any hatred for the killer of her own brother, Antigone says, Brother yes, by the same mother, the same father. In other words, both brothers slew his brother; both have committed the tragic crime of fratricide. In the face of such evil, who can judge one brother above another? That is the essence of the tragedy of Thebes, of the confusion of familial roles.

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