Antigone Essay, Research Paper
Antigone: A Martyr, a Masochist, and a Victim of Tyranny
The play ?Antigone? written by Sophocles takes, place in the 400’s B.C. in the town of Thebes, Greece. When Antigone hears her brother shall not have a proper burial, she breaks the king?s order and sprinkles dirt over Polyneice?s body. Antigone pleads for her life, but Creon, the king locks her up in a room of stone in the wilderness. Haimon, engaged to Antigone attempts to rescue her, but finds her dead. Then Haimon kills himself after an argument with his dad, Creon. After that, Euridice kills herself over the grief of her son?s death. Antigone can be considered a martyr, a masochist, and a victim of tyranny.
Antigone is a person who willingly and pleasurably suffers death, rather than renouncing her cause for which she has taken a stand. ?I should have praise and honor for what I have done.? When Antigone is saying this, it is telling the readers that she is willingly and pleasurably bringing death upon herself to show respect for her brother. The following quote also stated by Antigone is more proof that she is a martyr and a masochist. ?You are alive, but I belong to death.? If Antigone is not a martyr or masochist, then there would be no point to the play.
Antigone definitely is an innocent victim of tyranny. When Creon tells Haimon, ?The state is the king?, this shows us that Creon has absolute power over the people of Thebes. In scene III when Creon tells Thebes he will lock Antigone in a room of stone to starve to death, we can see that Creon uses cruel punishment for non-just crimes. After Creon hears Teiresias he finally realizes that he has made a bad decision with his authority. ?It is hard to deny the heart! But I will do it: I will not fight with destiny.? This is when he realizes he has made the wrong decision, and proceeds to free Antigone. But when he arrives, Antigone has hanged herself. By the end of the play we can see she dies an early life due to a tyrant.
In order for Sophocles to even have a plot in ?Antigone?, he makes Antigone a martyr, a masochist, and killed by a tyrant. It is Antigone’s wish to show respect to her brother, while bringing death upon herself. Also, if Sophocles does not portray Creon as a tyrant, then the play?s mood would be greatly affected. In fact, her strong beliefs pave her way to death.