Creon Character Analysis

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Sophocles introduces us to the feisty Antigone in his play of the same name. Her strong character challenges not only the tyrannical leadership of her king, Creon, but also the position that women were subjected to in ancient Athenian culture. Sophocles is able to place his female protagonist in this unique position by giving her character a heightened masculinity. While Antigone voices that her prerogative is to bury her brother in accordance with the laws of the gods, I will be arguing that her actions were, in fact, a protest against the exogamous marital practices of her culture. To better understand Antigone’s character, we should compare her against the average Athenian woman at the time of Sophocles’ writing, around 440 B.C. Nicole…show more content…
She is inherently defiant and stubborn, and feels no shame in making her personal matters public. This is made clear in her opening dialogue with Ismene, where she implores her sister to “shout from the rooftops” and “tell the world” about her plans to bury her brother against the will of Creon (100-101). In this exchange, the reluctant Ismene represents the temperament of the typical Athenian woman, and in contrasting the sisters’ characters, Sophocles is able to amplify Antigone’s rebellious nature early on within the prologue of the…show more content…
Nicole Loraux explained that the theatre was set up by the city for the citizens to view the “tangling and untangling” of dangerous ideas, ideas that were inappropriate or intolerable for day-to-day conversation. One such idea that is tackled in Sophocles play is the deep-seated male fear that a wife will betray her marital family out of loyalty to her natal family. Mark Griffith discusses this insecurity in his chapter ‘Antigone and her Sister(s)’ in the collective book, Making Silence Speak. He notes that Antigone “voices a preference, or a contradiction, that lies at the heart of Greek gender relations, yet rarely finds overt expression: to which of her two families does a woman owe stronger allegiance, that of her parents, or that of her husband?” (p131). Antigone obviously believes that her allegiance is to her natal family. In her reasoning, this is because her natal family, now all dead but Ismene and herself, has been rendered irreplaceable. “But mother and father both lost in the halls of death” she says, “no brother could ever spring to light again” (1003-1004). Even though Antigone is to be wed to Haemon, she doesn’t mention him once in the play, and of husbands and children, she dismisses their importance by stating “a husband dead, there might have been another. A child by another too, if I had lost the first”

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