'In The Antigone, Antigone gets what she wants, Creon gets what she deserves.' How far do you agree with this view?

Essay by vegas_sexbombHigh School, 12th gradeA, January 2005

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To suggest that in Sophocles' Antigone, Antigone gets what she wants and Creon gets what he deserves is clearly a contentious statement. On a simplistic level this may seem to be the case: Antigone gets the burial of her brother which she desires from the outset, whilst Creon's life ends in tragedy because of his thoughtless actions. However, this argument is undoubtedly based on plain facts alone, and this analysis can conceivably be abolished because it ignores many other fundamental details of the plot. By contrasting the characters' ends with the experiences they undergo and their ends, it seems that Antigone does not get exactly what she wants, nor does Creon get exactly what he deserves.

Sophocles characterises Antigone as a headstrong spirit from the outset; she wants the burial of her brother, and she is determined to get it even if she has to break the law and sacrifice her life in order to do so.

Without examining any other events the fact that she does bury him does suggest that her aim is fulfilled. But this view is a reductionist, not a holistic approach to the play. To begin with, the plot of the play is based on the fact that Antigone did not get what she wanted initially, and so essentially Antigone never gets her way because Creon does not give Polynices the funeral rites that Eteocles had, at least not until Antigone is dead.

However, there are many other ways in which Antigone does not get exactly what she wants. At the start, she wants her sister to help her in the act: 'will you lift up his body with these bare hands and lower it with me?' but Ismene declines: 'defy the city? I have no strength for that.' At least where her sister...