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Is Antigone's Character Consistent In Terms Of Her Speech And Actions?

1158 words - 5 pages

In terms of her speech and actions, Antigone is someone who expresses herself ambiguously. Although Antigone is a woman with many feminine traits, it can be seen that some of her actions are more befitting of a man. Yet the fact that she chooses to bury her brother, Polynices, also reveals womanly perspectives of her character. The constant change in her character symbolizes that Antigone is a woman with a great instability in herself though at some point, she portrays great motivation in what she believes in. Therefore, it can be said that she is a woman who possesses many different characteristics.

The play begins with a tense emotional dialogue between Antigone and Ismene after the ...view middle of the document...

” (Lines 37-8, pg.60) There is a sense of insignificance that men express towards the women and superiority as well. Believing that Ismene is on her side, Antigone asks her for help unfortunately she is turned down due to Ismene’s cowardice “Will you lift up his body with these bare hands and lower it with me?” (Lines 52-3, pg. 61 and lines 59-81, pg. 62) From this point, Antigone becomes quite unreasonable speaking harshly and impatiently towards Ismene “If you say so, you will make me hate you… dreadful thing.” (Lines 108-112, pg. 64) Yet maybe her severity and impatience are ways of protecting her sister from getting involved. At times, Antigone portrays her feminism while other times, she tends to show a manly side of her character.

Antigone is a peculiar woman who has many unusual beliefs such as worshipping death and glory. Her definition of death is the reward for glory and satisfying the dead instead of the living: “…I have longer to please the dead than please the living here…” (Lines 88-9, pg.63) Her suffering without death will be nothing compare to death: “I will suffer nothing as great as death without glory” (Lines 112-3, pg.64) It is clear from this statement that all Antigone wants is the glory itself and death is the passage to her wish. She doesn’t fear death but rather she befriends it and believes that this is what the gods’ will. This side of her personality shows that she isn’t just a typical woman who would develop a strong dependence on men like Ismene and that she, as a woman, can defend her honor and pride. She has this masculine personality inside her that has been unlocked by the strong blood relationship with her brother. So far, there is still uncertainty as to what Antigone’s true motives in burying her brother are and whether or not it is because of her duty to God and family.

When Antigone is questioned by Creon whether or not she was the one who buried Polynices’ body, she replies without hesitating. She is confident: “I did it. I don’t deny a thing.” (Line 501, pg.81) She is fearless: “…how could I avoid it? It was public.” (Line 497, pg.81) she knew defying Creon will lead to unimaginable consequences yet she did...

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