Analysis of Antigone

Analysis of Antigone

Analysis of Antigone Today the United States is controlled by three branches, but the executive branch is the branch that is commonly referred to when mentioning the United States; the President. Who was once just a loyal friend of Oedipus, now the ruler of Thebes, Creon can be considered Thebes’s president. A ruler who believes and insists that his word is final when it deals with anything under his jurisdiction, meets a match in Antigone, the daughter of the former ruler of Thebes before he parted unto the other side. When the unstoppable object collides with an unmovable object,” can be used to describe the two opposing views of Antigone and Creon. Every hero or heroine must go through a three part journey: the departure and separation, the decent/ initiation/ struggle/ achievement, and finally the return. Things are a little different in this case. I personally feel that Oedipus was a hero and passed his “hero ness” to Antigone; as if Antigone inherited it as a trait. So its more of a six part journey; the original three, followed by the reincarnation, and the last two parts of the journey repeated.

Before Oedipus was cast out of Thebes, Antigone was not known to be as bold as she shown with her objection to Creon’s orders of refusing her brother a proper burial, after her father‘s death. As she guided her father through life, his “hero ness” was slowly infiltrating Antigone and was fully installed into her with her father’s death. After Antigone heard of the orders of Creon, regarding her brother Polynices, she knew that something had to be done for the proper burial of Polynices.

Antigone’s sudden rise in spirit and bravery to fight for the honor of her family name is what places her under the category of being an archetypal heroine. The beginning conversation between Antigone and Ismene is essential, thus proving she had already entered the second to last phase in her journey which is departure from her ordinary life to a heroine’s lifestyle. Creon‘s order to leave Polynices dead body as is was the call in which Antigone decided to answer to without hesitation. Ismene believed her brother Polynices deserved to be buried, but did not choose to protest against the orders of Creon.

As for Antigone, her first sign of becoming a heroine began with deciding to bury her brother regardless of Creon’s orders with the knowledge that death was the penalty. Antigone has shown on a couple of instances that there are times in which she falls short of the archetypal heroine category. Her lack of individuation is shown after the death of her father. She weeps and asks her sister to take her to the place of her father’s death and asks to die there as well. Individualism has not fully taken effect in Antigone’s life which a key factor in becoming a heroine.

As time continues, Antigone gathers up enough courage and bravery to go back into Thebes to give Polynices the burial she believed he deserved. When Antigone and Ismene arrive in Thebes, Antigone tries to encourage Ismene to assist her in the burial of Polynices against the rulers will. She states a few reasons of why Ismene should help her bury Polynices, and informs her that she it time for them to show whether or not she was worthy of her high blood. These statements are not made from someone who is considered independent but more of someone who was dependent of another.

There are ways in which Antigone can fall under the category of the archetypal heroine and there are ways in which she does not fall under the archetypal heroine. The average hero or heroine myth is about that individual gaining individuation. Antigone shows individuation when she decides to take her brother with her own hands and gives him the proper burial for Polynices. Antigone taunts death by coming forth to Creon and stating that she is the one who defied his word and buried Polynices despite of Creon’s orders.

Willing to be put to death for her actions, Antigone displays her bravery not only by her actions but shows her individualism by denying her sister helped bury the body. Even though it took some time before Antigone actually gained individualism, she gained it. Every heroine must cross the threshold of dependency and arrive on the opposite side, which is individualism. Not meaning she cant accept the help of others, but more along the lines of not having to rely on others for assistance.

Antigone has changed dramatically compared from the character she was when she was first introduced. Inheriting the “hero ness” from her father, she took steps towards individualism and achieved the status of an archetypal heroine. Embarking on a physical and mental journey to and though Thebes, she was forced to answer her call and become a heroine. Completing the second to last step in a heroine’s quest, Antigone enters the final phase of the journey, the return. Being released from her tomb, her quest is complete and the family name is purified once