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71 pages 2 hours read

Sophocles

Antigone

Fiction | Play | Adult | BCE

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Character Analysis

Antigone

Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus, princess of Thebes. She is between 16 and 18 years old. Antigone represents the ideal of standing by one’s principles, even in the face of death. She also represents the importance of familial fealty and honor and the rightful place of mortals as servants of the gods. A headstrong and rebellious young woman, she is the opposite of what a Greek woman should be—subservient to the household. The righteousness and strength of Antigone make her death by Kreon all the more tragic. 

Ismene

Ismene is the sister of Antigone and fellow daughter of Oedipus. Though she is a respectful young woman, her behavior in the instance of Polyneikes’ death is less honorable than Antigone’s. This contrast is shown in Scene 1, when Antigone asks her to help bury Polyneikes, and Ismene refuses due to fear of breaking her uncle’s law. Ismene is a foil of Antigone, a mirrored character who helps to reveal Antigone’s nature. 

Kreon

Kreon is king of Thebes, brother to Oedipus’ wife, Jocasta, and brother-in-law to Oedipus. Like Antigone, Kreon is determined and headstrong; however, the law he is determined to serve is not divine law but his own law as king.

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