Sophocles ‘ drama Antigone nowadayss us with three different types of adult females: Antigone, the strong-minded supporter ; Ismene, the weak sister of Antigone ; and Eurydice, married woman of Creon. Each of these characters ‘ personalities, life styles, and picks straight affects the character ‘s mortality. The adult females characters in Antigone show great contrast, the most outstanding being life and decease. By analysing the female characters, it can be seen that those who die, Antigone and Eurydice, portion certain facets that the subsister, Ismene does non ; they are antonyms of each other in about every manner.
The first antonym found, strong versus weak, plays a outstanding function in this drama. Antigone ‘s function within the drama is much stronger than Ismene ‘s or Eurydice ‘s on assorted occasions. Antigone ne’er fears Creon and his Torahs, and openly defies them, twice. Upon being caught in the act, Antigone does non conceal from what she ‘s done, she confesses to it, “ Yes, I confess ; I will non deny my title, ” ( Greene 487 pp 198 ) .
Antigone has a stronger familial bond with her brother, whom she believes deserves a proper entombment, than her sister, Ismene, who refuses all engagement in the improper act. After Creon has caught Antigone, he calls on Ismene, falsely presuming her engagement in the illegal entombment, and asks if she did it, Ismene replies “ I did it, yes-if she will state I did it… , ” ( Greene 590 pp 202 ) . Merely when Ismene fears her sister has told on her, does she demo that she has the possible to be a strong character, like Antigone.
Eurydice, who is non as prominent in the drama as many other characters, is besides portrayed as weaker than Antigone. Eurydice, being Creon ‘s married woman stands behind him in all that he does. She supports him in his determinations, until his actions lead to the self-destruction of their boy, Haemon. This puts Eurydice over the border, at which point she kills herself. Both Antigone and Eurydice portion the mental and physical strength to kill themselves for their loved 1s.
Similar to strength, but merely as of import in this drama, is bravery. Antigone ‘s show of courage throughout this drama defies gender functions of her clip, and makes her decease meaningful. Other characters in this drama kill themselves because person they love dies, but Antigone ‘s decease, though by her ain manus, was caused by Creon and his ill-conceived Torahs. The Chorus in the drama praises her picks by stating, “ Yes, you go to the topographic point where the dead are hidden, but you go with differentiation and congratulations… it was your ain pick and entirely among world you will fall, alive, to that universe of decease, ” ( Greene 878-884 pp 213 ) . Antigone ‘s picks show her strong will, and uninterrupted love for those she has lost. Antigone volitionally gives her life to guarantee her brother gets to the underworld safely, and one time she does that she kills herself to be with her household in the after life.
The character of Ismene shows no mark of this courage, and this conformance to Creon ‘s manner of believing conserves her life. She continuously takes on the common low-level function adult females normally are portrayed in, stating such things as “ … You ought to recognize we are merely adult females, non meant in nature to contend against work forces… ” ( Greene 70-71 pp 183 ) and “ … bury him in secret ; I will be soundless, excessively, ” ( Greene 98 pp 184 ) . Ismene does all she can to seek to convert her sister to alter her head.
The adult females in this drama portion a commonalty in their love for their household, but Antigone is the lone 1 who is non afraid to turn out it. Family is, non merely the taking cause of decease of adult females within this drama, but the footing for this full drama. It is Antigone ‘s line of descent that began all of this pandemonium in the first topographic point, as stated by Ismene, “ … Consider sister how our male parent died… how he himself struck out the sight of his two eyes… Then, female parent and married woman… did dishonor violently on her life… Third, our two brothers… Each killed the other… , ” ( Greene 56-65 pp 183 ) .
Antigone proves her deathless love to the dead members of her household by taking her ain life, and in a manner disinheriting Ismene for non making the same. Ismene fears the penalty associated with burying her brother, and hence garbages to make anything which would jeopardize her life. After Ismene ‘s “ confession, ” Antigone refuses to allow Ismene hold any false glorification, “ Justice will non let you what you refused and I will hold none of your partnership ” ( Greene 592 pp 202 ) .
Similar to Antigone, Eurydice gives up her life for a loved 1. The bond between female parent and boy is much stronger than that of hubby and married woman, and it ‘s this bond that leads Eurydice to take her ain life once she hears that her boy has taken his ain life. A character known as Second Messenger recounts her decease, “ The queen is dead. She was so true female parent of the dead boy. She died, hapless lady, by recent force upon herself, ” ( Greene 1358-1360 pp 229 ) .
With whom these adult females align themselves seems to be a determinant factor in their life or decease within the drama. There are the adult females who, in the terminal, align themselves behind Creon and his regulation, and those who believe in other forces. Antigone goes against Creon ‘s Torahs, believing that since Creon will finally decease, his announcement ( refering her brother ‘s entombment ) holds no power. She thinks merely the Supreme beings have adequate power to declare who should be buried and who should n’t state, “ … it was non Zeus that made the announcement ; nor did Justice, which lives with those below, ordain such Torahs as that, for world… , ” ( Greene 494-496 pp 198 ) . This belief finally leads to the actions which cause Antigone ‘s decease in the drama.
Her sister, nevertheless, believes Creon is right and should n’t be defied, stating “ … we are ruled, by those who are stronger… , ” ( Greene, 72 pp 183 ) . By being obedient to the King of Thebes, Ismene preserves her life, but at what cost, if everyone she loves dies in the procedure?
The exclusion to this is Eurydice, whose character is n’t explored deep plenty to detect her true feelings, but she did aline herself with her boy by the terminal of the drama, killing herself to be with him. The two female characters who did non believe dependably in Creon died, while the low-level female survived.
Bing a adult female in and of itself plays a large portion in the morality of these female characters. Harmonizing to the website Ancient Greek Civilizations: the Women of Athens, matrimony is a right of transition for misss to go adult females, ( “ The Women of Athens ” ) . Eurydice is the lone married adult females within the drama, go forthing us to believe Antigone and Ismene are still misss. However, in decease, Antigone says herself that her “ … hubby is to be the Lord of Death, ” ( Greene, 877 pp 213 ) . Jana Shopkorn, who created a web site entitled “ ‘Til Death Do Us Part: Marriage and Funeral Rites in Classical Athens, ” says that “ Death before matrimony signifies a matrimony with the underworld, ” ( Shopkorn ) . Following this line of thought, the lone adult female who survives was in fact a miss, and being married was a expletive, of kinds, for Eurydice and Antigone.
Through the analysis of the lone 3 females in Sophocles ‘ drama Antigone, we discover a broad array of contrasting features. The kineticss between these characters provides insight into their mortality within the drama. The two female characters that die in this drama, Antigone and Eurydice, portion many similarities that Ismene, the exclusive female subsister does non possess. Their opponent personalities, life styles, and picks throughout the drama can be straight correlated to their decease or endurance in this drama.
- Greene, David & A ; Lattimore, Richmond ( Ed. ) . ( 1991 ) . Grecian Tragedies. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
- Shopkorn, Jana. “ Til Death Do Us Part: Marriage and Funeral Rites in Classical Athens. ” 6 Oct 2008 & A ; lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www.perseus.tufts.edu/classes/JSp.html & gt ; .
- “ The Women of Athens. ” Ancient Greek Civilizations. 8 Oct 2008 & A ; lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/aegean/culture/womenofathens.html & gt ; .