Antigone is a play written by Sophocles that was first performed in 441 BC. The story follows Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus, as she battles against her uncle Creon for the right to bury her brother Polyneices. Antigone is a powerful character who is willing to stand up for her beliefs despite the consequences.
Many readers feel empathy for Antigone as she struggles against those who are trying to stop her from fulfilling her duty. Antigone is determined to do what she believes is right, even if it means facing punishment. Her strength and determination are admirable, and readers can sympathize with her plight. Antigone is also a complex character with many different facets to her personality. She is not simply a heroine who is always right; she has her flaws and makes mistakes. This makes her more relatable to readers, and they can understand why she does the things she does.
Creon, Antigone’s uncle, is also a complex character who is not simply evil. He is a man who is trying to do what he believes is best for his kingdom, even if that means making difficult decisions. Readers may not agree with all of his choices, but they can understand why he makes them.
The characters in Antigone are rich and complex, and readers can feel empathy for them as they struggle against adversity. Antigone is a powerful character who refuses to back down, and readers can admire her determination. Creon is a complex character who is not simply evil, and readers can understand his motivations. These characters are well-rounded and believable, and readers will feel drawn into their story.
Empathy is generated towards both characters in the audience, with each character’s situation being weighed equally. The amount of empathy felt for a character changes as the tale progresses and new details about him are unveiled. The degree to which someone is mourned or hated affects not just his reading but also the play’s significance.
In pleading with her sister, Antigone reveals vulnerability and a sense of desperation. Antigone is not asking out of selfishness but out of love for her brother and her family. Despite this, her sister refuses to help which leads Antigone to take matters into her own hands.
Empathy for Antigone does not develop until she breaks the law and is faced with punishment from the state. Antigone is aware of the consequences of breaking the law but feels that it is more important to follow her heart than the laws of the state. It is only after she has been captured and is being forced to face punishment that the audience begins to feel true empathy for her. The agony that Antigone experiences as she is condemned to death is palpable. Antigone is aware of the consequences of her actions but does not regret them. The audience experiences a sense of admiration for Antigone’s strength in the face of adversity.
Creon, Antigone’s uncle and the ruler of Thebes, is another character who experiences a shift in empathy throughout the play. At the beginning, Creon is presented as unyielding and inflexible. He is adamant that Antigone be punished for breaking the law. As the play progresses, however, Creon begins to experience doubt and regret. He realizes that he has made a mistake in sentencing Antigone to death and tries to find a way to save her.
Even if Antigone and Creon have many parallels in their personalities, I am more sympathetic to her. Even though her actions may not always be correct in the first place, she places the greatest importance on her family. It is more essential to her that her brother gets a decent burial than it is for herself to live.
Antigone is not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for what she believes in, even if it means going against the king.
Similarly, I also have a lot of sympathy for Creon. He is under a lot of pressure to make the right decisions for his people and country. He is trying to do what he thinks is best, but sometimes his choices have unintended consequences. He also has to deal with the personal loss of his son. It is clear that he is deeply affected by Antigone’s death and regrets his decision to execute her.
I think that Sophocle does a great job of showing both sides of the conflict and creating characters that are easy to sympathize with. This makes the play more powerful and allows the audience to reflect on the choices that Antigone and Creon made.
In the opening scene, Antigone’s sentiments of misery are immediately understood by Ismene. ‘How many sorrows our father Oedipus inherited from us! Do you know one, I ask you? One grief that Zeus will not be able to perfect for the two of us… (p59) Antigone is introduced to the audience as the daughter of Oedipus, which gives her a degree of empathy.
Antigone has already suffered many losses in her life, her mother and father both killed, and she is aware that more tragedy is to come. This creates a sense of vulnerability in Antigone and the audience can emphathise with her as she opens up to Ismene.
In Scene 2 Antigone speaks with Eteocles who is guarding the palace entrance. Antigone requests to see her brother Polyneices who has been exiled from Thebes. Eteocles refuses to let Antigone see Polyneices but does offer her some information about him. Antigone relays this information to Ismene informing her that Polyneices plans to attack Thebes from outside the city walls. Antigone is desperate to try and save her brother and requests that Ismene help her. Antigone’s determination to save her brother is clear, as is her empathy for him. Antigone knows that Polyneices is going to war against her own city and yet she still wants to help him.
In Scene 4 Antigone meets with Haemon, son of Creon, and begs him to plead with his father to spare Polyneices’ life. Haemon agrees to try and talk to his father but warns Antigone that Creon is not likely to change his mind. Antigone is undeterred and tells Haemon that she will commit suicide if Polyneices is executed. Antigone’s love for her brother is clear and she is willing to do anything to save him. Antigone knows that she will not be able to live with herself if her brother is executed and so she takes her own life as a way of escaping the pain.
Empathy is key to understanding Antigone’s actions throughout the play. Antigone feels empathy for her family, her city and her brother. She wants what is best for all of them, even if that means making difficult decisions. Antigone’s empathy makes her relatable to the audience and allows them to understand her motivations. We see Antigone go through many challenges in the play but her empathy never falters.