Antigone Questions and Answers
by Sophocles

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In Ode 1 of Sophocles' Antigone, what portrait or concept of man is developed, and how?

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Sophocles took a rather nuanced view of humanity, and Antigone epitomizes that perfectly, mostly in the speeches or comments of the character Creon, who assumes the throne upon the deaths of Eteocles and Polyneices. It is through the voices of Creon and the Chorus that Sophocles best expresses his views on the nature of man: nature is restrained through the establishment of a system of laws governing an otherwise anarchic society. Note, for instance, Creon's observation in one of his exchanges with Coryphaeus:

"Now, there is no way to learn thoroughly the essence of the whole man as well as his thought and judgment until he has been engaged in ruling and making laws. For, in my opinion, whoever, in guiding a whole city, does not adhere to the best counsels, but from fear of something keeps his tongue locked, that man seems to me now and before this to be most evil."

Law, to Creon, is everything. This is a king who understands that his own legitimacy is based upon a common acceptance of basic...

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