Antigone Character Analysis

Subject: Literature
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 778
Topics: Ancient Greece, Antigone, Book, Greek Mythology


In Antigone, Antigone struggles through all her difficulties and choices affected by her consistent ethics and value system. During the outstanding play Antigone evolves tremendously from a headstrong and unappreciated person to a bold and revealing one. This will ultimately cause her death, but she dies with moral dignity and without remorse because she feels that what she did was ethically correct because she went against Creon’s power. Creon did not allow burying Antigone’s gone brother, but she was prepared to dedicate her life for this. This convincingly demonstrates that Antigone’s reasons are love for her family and the divine law, which she holds above all else. Antigone’s character traits can be seen throughout the play and there are three pivotal scenes that reveal this.

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Antigone’s personal qualities depicted through three scenes in the play

At the outset of Antigone, Antigone and her sister Ismene come back to Thebes in order to assist their brothers. The sisters discover that both their brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, are dead, which has caused Creon to be the new leader of Thebes. Exercising this power, he gives Eteocles an honorable funeral for his courage in battle, while Polynices was a betrayer and was denied a decent burial. Antigone clearly opposes Creon’s unreasonable order and claims that she will go against his authority so that his spirit can obtain peace. Completely grasping the implications of this act, namely death, she proceeds to swear love to her family. By this she reveals to the viewers her power and resolve towards her brother. Nevertheless, this immense sense of pride will ultimately cause her downfall, as she is primed to sacrifice everything for her family. Through this scene, Antigone transforms into an exciting protagonist in which she depicts her disobedience and bravery, dignity and transparency, as well as her feeling of moral justice to portray the character’s development over the course of the play.

In another memorable scene, Ismene refuses to participate in the crime against Creon, leaving Antigone to fend for herself. Ismene declares: “Why rush to extremes? It’s madness, madness”. Ismene cannot properly grasp the rationale behind her sister’s willingness to bury her gone brother. She desperately tries many times to convince Antigone why she should not commit this crime, but Antigone’s overwhelming sense of arrogance overcomes her, and she does not perceive the consequences. Antigone resolves that “there is only one way: to do it herself, since it must be done”. Antigone displayed to Ismene her personal dedication to the ultimate decision she chose to be by her brother’s side by being dazzled by her all-consuming sense of sensitive pride. This arrogance inevitably influences her aggressive mindset and obscures her rationality. For instance, she finds it very hard to accept that she has done something inappropriate.

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Lastly, as the play ends, Antigone is miserable, not due to what she has accomplished or her attitudes, but rather because she is terribly distressed by Creon’s harsh judgment and his death penalty. This does not imply that she is remorseful for what she has committed and that Antigone is completely conscious of her actions and does not retreat or display weakness. After all, she admits the critical implications, but denies that what she performed was a wrongful act. She proves to Creon that “if this hurries me to death before my time, why such a death a gain”. This merely signifies that her crime is justified and that her death will be honorable alongside her brother. This intense commitment and ultimate allegiance to divine rules, not governmental ones, enables her to intentionally disregard Creon’s commands. She promptly obeys and abundantly satisfies the Gods, not a tyrannical governor. In her revolt against Creon, Antigone does not waver in anything but the ethical standards she has established for her brother.


In summary, Antigone prominently displays precious character development and adulthood over the course of the play that sufficiently develop her as a person. She evolves tremendously from an outspoken and obstinate to a receptive and bold woman. She eagerly embraces the repercussions and is primed to sacrifice her life for the glory of her family. Antigone’s substantial and resilient base of rebellion allows her to transcend people’s social perceptions and undertake to assist her brother, despite the laws of the government. She doesn’t mind what anyone conceives and achieves precisely only the things she feels she wants to do. She is uniquely strong, both physically and mentally, and she achieves her goals. Antigone grows into a praiseworthy and admirable character in which she portrays her defiance and courage, dignity and respect, and feeling of personal justice to accurately represent the underlying character evolution in the play.

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