Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Character Motivations in Antigone Essay
The main characters in Sophocles drama, Antig unity, are Antigone herself, the p impersonates tragic heroine and Antigones uncle and King of Thebes, Creon. Both characters are ruled by tidy motivations and beliefs however, they differ from one character to the next. Antigones motivation is love for her family- she puts it above only else. In fact, she is willing to sacrifice her life to defend that love.Antigone goes to great lengths to go under her deceased brother, who according to an purchase order issued by King Creon, died in dishonor, consequently making it illegal for anyone to bury his body. Through her actions to comply with her motivations, it is revealed that Antigones actions are also fueled by her strong beliefs that, first, the gods laws are more powerful than any law made by man, and second, that it is better to die a heroic dying than a cowardly one.Throughout the play, Antigone stands firm on these beliefs by standing up for them even through her death as demon strated through the side by side(p) parley in which she admits her crime, and voices her beliefs to Creon It was not Zeus who published this decree, nor have the powers who rule among the dead imposed such laws as this upon mankind nor could I think that a decree of yours- A man- could override the laws of heaven unwritten and unchangingFor me to meet this doom (death) is little grief But when my mothers son lay dead, had I neglected him and left him there unburied, That would have caused me grief this causes me none (437-459). This scene illustrates the essence of Antigones character. Shes defending her crime of burying her brother, so demonstrating that she is motivated by the love that she has for her family.Shes further justifying her act by stating that Creons law is not the law that she feels she must adhere to- she follows the gods laws, another one of her guiding beliefs, and finally, shes not only accepting her impending doom, but actually welcoming it because shes dying defending her beliefs, therefore dying a heroic death rather than dying in cowardice. On the other hand, Creon is also motivated by love however, his love is love for his country, rather than his family. He puts country above all else, including his family- hes willing to do whatever he needs to do to make sure that Thebes remains powerful. In order to achieve this goal he demands loyalty from his subjects, once again, family included he rules by intimidation, and is very proud. In fact, pride is another one of his major(ip) motivations. For these reasons, his character is a feared leader.First of all, the fact that he issues that his nephew cannot be buried shows that- one, he demands loyalty, even over loyalty to the gods, and two, he defends his country over his family. He continues displaying his beliefs when he doesnt revoke the edict even after his wife, and niece clearly disagree with it. Creons pride continues to take precedent when he begins falsely accusatory his subject s, and acting rashly with little thought. Creons character, while a complex character is strongly represented in much of his dialogue, perhaps this passage of dialogue between Creon and the prophet Teiresias best captures his essence. Sir, all of you, like bowmen at a target, let fly your shafts at me. Now they have turned even diviners on me By that tribe I am bought and sold and stowed away on board.Go, make your profits, drive your trade in Lydian silver or in Indian gold, but him you shall not bury in a tomb, no, not though Zeus own eagles eat the corpse and bear the carrion to their masters can buoy Not even so, for fear of that defilement, will I permit his burial-for well I know that mortal man cannot defile the gods (994-1006). Through this single quote, Creon demonstrates all of his predominate qualities hes accusing Teiresias of bribery, therefore, acting before thinking, he wont repeal his edict even though he admits that the edict does defy Zeus, thus illustrating his p ride. He likes being in power of a powerful state, so much so that he is blind to his own pride, and is beauteous with ruling by intimidation and demanding loyalty from his subjects.