The Personality Traits of Antigone

Essay by ACM2002College, Undergraduate March 2002

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In the story of Antigone, Oedipus has already died, his two sons: Polyneices and Eteocles are left to contend the throne of the city of Thebes. In the contention for the throne, the two brothers are killed in battle, leaving Creon to be King. With this power, Creon declares that, Polyneices be left unburied, while Eteocles be given a burial with full military honors. To make matters worse, anyone that were to acknowledge the corpse of Polyneices would be given absolutely no support from the state and be severely punished. Creon stated, ?Polyneices, I say, is to have no burial: no man is to touch him or say the least prayer for him; he shall lie on the plain, unburied; and the birds and scavenging dogs can do with him whatever they like? (1.1.35-7). Antigone is now left torn between the state and her family, and in the end, chooses her family.

She is seen as the daughter of a horrible royal tragedy, but that situation gives us, the readers a chance to see the many sides of her character. Antigone was a woman who stood up for her beliefs and would not let anyone attempt to change them. Without a doubt she is a character filled with determination and strength, but Antigone is also a character of extreme arrogance.

Antigone is enormously determined to give her brother the burial she believes he deserves, even though she knew Creon?s punishment for breaking his law was public stoning, which ultimately resulted in death. In a way she becomes a martyr - she is giving up her life based on her belief that her brother Polyneices be given a proper burial as was her other brother Eteocles. There are so many consequences that will follow her actions but Antigone is only...