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Antigone Analysis - literary techniques

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Introduction

Antigone Analysis After hearing the final verdict of Antigone's grim fate, Haemon calmly confronts his father Creon - giving the impression of being fully devoted and supportive of his father's will and wisdom. A somewhat astonished Creon, praises Haemon's reverence and acceptance for what seems like compliance to Antigone's death. He then launches into a brief speech detailing his strong belief in misogynist rule and his deep disdain for traitors like Antigone. This speech proves an essential role to the play as it emphasizes Creon's major flaws of ignorance and selfishness, while highlighting many themes like the abuse of power and law, which ultimately leads to his wretched punishment. In this scene, Creon is portrayed as a very patriotic, yet stubborn ruler who cannot stand to be defied - let alone have the laws of the state be defied. He proclaims, "But whoever steps out of line, violates the laws... he'll win no praise from me." He starts the declarative sentence with the conjunction "But" - a contrast to the previous stanza where declarative sentences are started with personal pronouns, and imperative verbs. He uses this conjunction with the triple technique to emphasize not only his confidence in his beliefs, but also to emphasize how important he feels it is for the Thebans to win his "praise." This self-absorbed thinking ultimately escalates his ego, where all his decisions are right - resulting in his failure to recognize that other forms of justice do exist. ...read more.

Middle

He believes that when Polynices decided to display his disloyalty by attacking the city, he chose to revoke his citizenship. Antigone on the other hand, acknowledges that although Polynices had shown signs of treason, he should have been forgiven by the city and honored with a proper burial. Antigone also believes that the state law can and should be broken in such cases that involve divine law or familial piety, and opposes Creon's view that obedience to man-made law is of the utmost importance. Because of their conflicting views, Creon - who defines citizenship as complete obedience to the will of the state, condemns Antigone to death because he feels that she has abandoned her citizenship by disobeying him and thinking differently. Creon also cares a lot about his reputation, and abuses his power with the intention of forcing others to think as he does. "I'm not about to prove myself a liar, not to my people, no." He believes that if he goes back on his word, the people of Thebes will not respect his authority as king. To Creon, it is especially important that he gains the peoples' respect because with a new reign since the Thebes' civil war, his insecurities about his reputation provoke him to establish authority for reassurance. He therefore portrays himself as a firm and strong administrator and makes the Thebans fear him so that they see him as the ultimate authoritative figure in Thebes. ...read more.

Conclusion

Sophocles tries to highlight this inequality of sexism primarily through the punishments Creon receives from the Gods as a result of this misogynist thinking. This theme of pride is also one of Creon's greatest flaws, as pride itself is seen as a despicable trait by the gods - worthy of no mercy. The gods believe that no man can ever create laws equal to or above divine right. However, in this scene, Creon not only tries to reinforce his own laws like the misogynist rule - but also, attempts to execute Antigone because she favored the honoring of her brother. He remains stubborn - bashing Antigone for being a traitor, and later in the play - still refuses to admit to his mistakes even when Tiresias makes them explicit. This speech leads to Haemon's distrust in his uncle's wisdom and ultimately the death of himself and Creon's wife, Eurydice. In conclusion, Sophocles uses many literary techniques in Creon's speech like metaphors, tautology, plenonasm, and parenthesis to convey the main themes of pride, loyalty, misogynist rule, law and justice. He portrays Creon as a commanding, sexist, selfish, delusional, and stubborn ruler who frequently abuses his power to get people to think as he does. The importance of this speech is to better understand Creon's character in order to fully appreciate the morals presented in the play -namely being the guilt the dramatic hero - Creon feels, realizing after he loses his son and wife, that he was mistaken to place the law of the state above the law of the gods. ...read more.

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