November 14, 2009
The Rebellious Princess
In Ancient Greece, women were hardly ever seen as strong or capable of anything. However, in one early play in Ancient Greece, one young girl rose up against all state power. How does one woman obtain the courage to do something so completely unheard of in those times? What made this girl defy the King, when no other woman had done so before? In Sophocles’ Antigone, Antigone, whose actions are primarily influenced by her brothers, reveals a strong-willed and courageous nature brought about by the conflicting new King of Thebes.
Antigone displays courage and strong willpower through the risky actions she takes for her predetermined goal. Antigone decides to bury her brother, Polyneices, who is said to be a traitor to the family. When Ismene, Antigone’s sister, reminds Antigone of the significant punishment she is facing, Antigone claims she is “not afraid of the danger if it means death…” (Prologue, Lines 80). Antigone and her sister have just learned that the punishment for burying the traitor is death by stoning. Therefore, Antigone is aware that she is facing a very slow and painful death for this crime she wants to commit. She is not even fazed or rethinking her choice in the situation when she restates that she “will bury the brother [she] love[s]” (Prologue, Line 65) and “if [she] must die, [she] say[s] that this crime is holy…” (Prologue, Line 55). Her unyielding determination shows the true courageous spirit she has, despite the consequences. She sees the situation as a “reward: [which is] death before [her] time!” (Scene 4, Line 65). She is willing to face the ultimate consequence for her brother, Polyneices, which is very similar to the philosophy Antigone’s brothers lived and died by.
Antigone takes after her brothers with her actions and personality. She is merely doing exactly what her brother did leading up to their deaths. Each of her brothers “fought as bravely and died as miserably”...