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To whom does Sophocles show sympathy for in the play?
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Middle School Teacher
I tend to think that Sophocles saves most of his sympathy for the side characters. They are more of the collateral damage from the war between Creon and Antigone. For example, Ismene experiences rejection from all sides. She is rejected by Antigone because she lacks the passion that the avenging sister seeks. She is rejected by Creon because she cannot bring herself to disobey her sister in the manner that he would accept. Haemon is even more of a sympathetic figure. His only offense is to have loved Antigone and Creon. Neither one looks at Haemon as an individuals whose love makes them want to stop. Creon calls his son names, insults his manhood, and essentially discredits him for supporting the woman he loves. Antigone refuses to acknowledge his love in a condition that would cause her to stop her progression towards standoff with Creon and eventual death. In the end, Haemon is someone that Sophocles constructs with a sense of sadness and empathy. Like Ismene, he is one in which there is no escape from the pain of love. There is no sanctuary when the experience of love the source of pain and hurt. For Haemon, there is nothing but sympathy for there is little chance of happiness.
Posted by akannan on February 16, 2013 at 11:22 PM (Answer #1)
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