Antigone is the lead heroine of Sophocles’s play ‘Antigone’. This is a Greek tragedy that was written by the famous Greek tragedian Sophocles. Sophocles is one of the three Greek tragedians whose plays have survived till date. Antigone is a brilliant character who is way ahead of her times.
Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. Oedipus married his own mother who gave birth to Antigone and three other children. At the beginning of the play, it is said that the two brothers Polyneices and Eteocles have died in the war and king Creon had ordered Polyneices’s body to be left in the open to rot. Antigone is a loving sister, whose undying love for her brother Polyneices forced her to defy Creon’s orders in order to give him a burial.
After the order of Creon, Antigone decides to go against him, and fetches a plan to offer her brother his burial. Antigone believes that it is the right of every human to be buried respectfully, and it is the order of the Gods. No mortal man has the right to defy God’s wishes. Antigone even asks her sister Ismene for a helping hand. However, Ismene refuses to help her in going against the law, as she foresees the consequences associated with this crime.
Antigone is a bold heroine, who knows about her rights well. She is an independent woman who never feares any man. Sophocles had painted such a protagonist who was way ahead of her times. In that generation when women were expected to be meek and gentle, stands out from the rest. Antigone portrays the character of a fearless woman who knows how to achieve her power from the patriarchy. She is the embodiment of women empowerment in a sense. She shows the strongest personality compared to the other two women characters in the play. Her courageous persona is visible when she becomes ready to sacrifice her own life in giving her dead brother a burial. Antigone has no fear for any mortal human being, but God. Therefore, she is ready to disobey any rule made by humans in order to abide the universal law made by the Gods.
When Ismene refuses to help her in her crime, Antigone decides to do it all by herself. It takes a lionhearted personality to dare to disobey Creon’s order. Antigone doesn’t believe in the traditional image imposed on women. Therefore, she dares to stand out bravely all alone among the crowd. Through her character, it has been demonstrated that a woman can come out of her shell or make a name for herself in the patriarchy, if she dares to fight against the prejudices.
When Antigone is caught by Creon’s men, she openly accepts of her crime and asks for her punishment. This is another display of her courageous personality. She has done anything wrong to be ashamed of and hence she owns the daring to accept her crime. She isn’t afraid of death. Instead, she is eager to experience the peaceful sleep called death. Her beauty has captivated the heart of Haemon, who even sacrificed his life for her. Haemon, who was the son of Creon committed suicide after her death.
Therefore, from this play, we can conclude that the character of Antigone was way ahead of her times. Her personality resembled with that of men, more than the women. Through this character, Sophocles has created a coming of age picture and uplifted the empowerment of women .