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The Tragedies of Sophocles$
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James Morwood

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781904675716

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781904675716.001.0001

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The martyr and the king

(p.36) Chapter 4 Antigone
The Tragedies of Sophocles

James Morwood

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the character developments of Antigone and Creon in Sophocles' Greek tragedy Antigone. It explains that Antigone's defiance over Creon's decree shows her devotion to uphold her familial duty to honor her dead brother, Polyneices. Creon's decree, though it was only intended to bring order to the kingdom, showed its defects as the decree added that Polyneices' corps should be eaten by birds and dogs. The chapter adds that in Creon's scene with Antigone, his tyrannical nature showed when he insisted that a man must not be affected by a woman, implying his insecurities. Creon's development as a tyrannical figure is illustrated when he changed Antigone's punishment from public stoning to entombment, suggesting that he already knew that the people would not support him — also solidifying Antigone's heroic position in the tragedy.

Keywords:   character development, Sophocles, Antigone, Creon, Polyneices, Greek tragedy

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