After all, Antigone sacrifices herself to fulfill her moral duty to her family and the gods, and Creon stubbornly rejects Antigone's religious convictions as a rationale for disobeying his orders. In this lesson, we will explore the conflict between these two characters and the extent to which each character upholds the classical definitions of protagonist and antagonist.
Aristotle's ancient text Poetics describes the six pillars of Greek tragedy.
Antigone believes that the duty she has in honoring her brother Polynices’s death comes from the divine.
She believes that her actions are done in name of honor, family, but most of all, in recognizing...
Although Antigone does not challenge Creon's right to the throne, he is still threatened by her.
She openly mocks his authority by disregarding his decision to not allow Polyneices' body to be buried.A protagonist, or hero, is held in high esteem; his or her actions and words portray a person of high moral standard.The antagonist, or villain, is portrayed in the opposite manner, usually motivated by immoral impulses such as greed, jealousy, or arrogance.Creon is the pragmatic and prideful ruler whose authority must be absolute.He also shows some signs of insecurity over his right to reign, and must squash Antigone's disobedience at all costs to convince himself and the city that he is the rightful king.In the Greek definition of a protagonist, a tragically flawed character of high moral regard, one could argue that Antigone and Creon both display heroic qualities, and yet there is no greater villain than both of these characters.Perhaps the playwright, Sophocles, was trying to convey the idea that lines between protagonists and antagonists were actually quite blurry, and perhaps the hero's truest enemy is herself. We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities.Antigone is motivated by a strong moral conviction that her brother must be honored in death, and in doing so, she must ''please those that are dead,'' as her time among the dead will be much longer than her time among the living.Antigone, however, is also plagued by a hamartia, or tragic flaw. She is besieged by pride, and does not listen to reason, despite her sister Ismene's pleas for reason and Creon's willingness to pardon her.In the Greek tragic tradition, there is typically a hero, also known as a protagonist, and a villain, also known as an antagonist.In Sophocles' Antigone, those roles would appear to be fulfilled by Antigone and Creon, respectively.