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does sophocles take a stand in favor of either antigone or creon?

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user3729081 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:48 PM via web

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does sophocles take a stand in favor of either antigone or creon?

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gpane | College Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:51 PM (Answer #1)

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Sophocles allows both Creon and Antigone to air their views in full and the play never really leaves any room for doubt that both sides have valid claims to make. Antigone however is generally recognised as the heroine of the piece; the play after all is named for her and she appears as a figure of towering integrity and sheer courage, upholding her ideals to the death and never betraying any signs of weakness. Creon, on the other hand, comes across as something of a tyrant. Even more significantly, by the end he appears a crushed and pitiful figure as his actions lead to the suicides of his wife and son and he knows he has incurred the wrath of the gods.

From all this, it might be said that Sophocles takes the side of Antigone, but we also have to be cautious in saying this. Antigone appears just as proud and unbending as Creon and her final act of suicide, although it might be viewed as defiance, also suggests, of course, that even she has finally given way to despair. Even more important is the fact that although Creon, who opposed her views, is ultimately punished, there is no-one in the play who actually states that she was right to do what she did.

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