Antigone Along With Its Companion Essay

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As a character, Creon is almost and inverse of Antigone, because his concern for his own authority trumps his love for his own family, as he all but disowns his son Haemon for the latter's support of Antigone. As these flaws are the most important elements of characterization in terms of the plot, they essentially define the characters even in spite of the interior emotional lives hinted at within the play.

As speech is the primary way in which the plot is conveyed to the audience, Aristotle argues that a tragedy must contain effective language and metaphors in order to both relay direct information about the plot as well as shape the reception of that plot through the use of a particular style. Aristotle favors metaphor above all else, as he claims that "to coin metaphors with skill means ability to see the likeness in things," and thus reveal something essential about both elements of the metaphor (Aristotle 210). In Antigone Creon has some of the most forceful metaphors, such as when he calls Ismene a "snake lurking in my house, / sucking out my life's blood so secretly" (Sophocles lines 607-608). This use of metaphor says as much about Creon as Ismene, and Antigone frequently includes powerful metaphors like this in order to make its larger point about the balance between state authority and familial dedication. Creon even acknowledges the importance of metaphor and speech to Greek tragedy when he states that "among human beings / the wisest suffer a disgraceful fall / when, to promote themselves, they use fine words / to spread around abusive insults" (Sophocles lines 1167-1169).
Creon is actually guilty of this himself, but the irony which arises from his chastising Tiresias for it highlights the importance of metaphor in speech to the genre.

One can easily find all of the important elements of Greek tragedy in Sophocles' Antigone, but perhaps the most easily visible are the centrality of plot above all other elements, seen in the simultaneous reversal of both Antigone and Creon's fortunes, the highlighting of a tragic flaw in the form of both Antigone and Creon's stubborn pride, and the frequent use of metaphor in characters' speech. Appreciating how these elements function in Antigone grants one a greater understanding of Greek tragedy in general, because one may begin to see the underlying common structure of Greek tragedy in Antigone when considering how all of the disparate elements come together to convey a plot which hinges, like all Greek tragedy, on a moment of dramatic reversal. Thus, while Antigone features its own interpretation of an older story, it nonetheless manages to conform to the standards of Greek tragedy even while imbuing those standards and structures with a unique character.

Works Cited

Aristotle. Poetics. London: Hodder & Staughton, 1911.

Sophocles, . "Antigone." Vancouver Island University. Vancouver Island University, May….....

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