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In Sophocles' play Antigone, how does the author create sympathy for the main character?

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Introduction

Sophocles' play is named after its main character, Antigone, and for one the first times in Greek Tragedy it is a woman. In this play, Antigone is clearly the protagonist, as she is showed in her grief, seems sympathetic and the reader or spectator sees her from the beginning; it creates more impact and draws attention to the extremity of her feelings and emotions. Antigone also illustrates one of the central themes of this tragedy, which is the position of women; she upsets gender roles and hierarchy, and disturbs the fundamental rules of her culture. She is also heroic and scarifies her life. All these traits of character contribute to create sympathy for her and make her stand out. Sophocles always presents her as a victim and thus she benefits from a special status, which makes us readers, appreciate her more than the other characters. From the opening of the play Antigone appears in a difficult position, she is outside the gates and shares with her sister Ismene all the suffering she has to go through. ...read more.

Middle

As we go on with our reading we discover Antigone's deep suffering and sorrow, she suffers because she has no power, is dominated by the status of Creon and is alone in her struggle. She has lost her two brothers, has no family except for Ismene, and is now condemned to die by Creon. In addition, the fact that she has a fianc´┐Ż but is not married to him adds to her solitude, and makes us feel compassion for her. As said before, when the play was written women had a very little role in a society ruled by men, and they had very limited freedom. Antigone, on the other hand, is the complete opposite to this stereotype and upsets these gender roles. She is a "spokesman" for feminism, an icon for woman flowering and totally defies the rules of the society she lived in. She eventually becomes a source of inspiration for generations of rebels and dissidents. ...read more.

Conclusion

She scarifies her life out of devotion to principles higher than human law. One can wonder which laws are more important, but in Antigone's case, it is clearly family laws since she chooses to die instead of obeying state laws. It highlights her unique personality and the fact that she is individualist. Creon has indeed been punished for not understanding the fine line between these two. Again, we are more attracted to her side since we can more relate to her and her choice which is somehow selfish but heroic and unfortunately fatal. Thus, in this play, Sophocles attributing the role of both protagonist tragic hero creates sympathy for his main character Antigone. Creon flaws are even more stressed and Antigone's bravery admirable. The contrast between them makes Antigone's human qualities stand out. The audience cannot but feel sympathy for her and despite her death, she somehow "triumphs" since she takes away with her Creon's son Heamon and Eurydice and Creon ends up alone as a tyrannical leader. English A1 Standard Level How does Sophocles create sympathy for Antigone? - 1 - ...read more.

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