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The Major Themes of the Play “Antigone” by Sophocles

One of the major themes of the famous play Antigone by Sophocles is the sense of justice. It is possible to note that the play focuses on such moral issue as true justice. Antigone is the agent of morality in the play as she tries to make the things right and bury her brother who deserves being buried (just like his brother who is equally guilty). The burial of Polynices becomes a matter of morality and justice as Creon decides that Polynices’ brother, Eteocles, has the right to be buried according to all the laws of that time. Therefore, it is clear that two equally guilty people, who killed each other, are treated differently. Antigone is the one to bring moral principles to life.

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Thus, Antigone claims that she is doing right as she wants to do a moral thing. The young woman states, “However, for wise people I was right / to honour you” (Sophocles 42). She understands that Creon is acting immorally as he punishes one man for a crime while he does not punish the other who commits the same crime. The young woman understands that this cannot be right and Polynices should also be buried.

Antigone stresses that she breaks the law which is immoral and created by a man as there is the law of justice set by divine forces (Sophocles 42). She appeals to the higher forces and the law of the gods. Notably, she admits that no man can be truly moral as only gods can remain absolutely just. The sister understands that she is the only person who can restore justice.

It is necessary to note that Antigone is the most remarkable character who is a symbol of the play. Antigone becomes a symbol of justice and morality. She becomes the moral agent who tries to restore justice. She is a loving sister and daughter. She understands that her two brothers were wrong to start the war against each other and kill each other. Nonetheless, she also knows that it is the right thing to do to bury both brothers according to the law of gods. She appeals to this law and she is committed to make sure that justice is manifested. She is ready to be punished by gods as she notes, “if this is something fine among the gods, / I’ll come to recognize that I’ve done wrong” (Sophocles 43). Even when she analyzes her own actions, she is ready to be punished for doing wrong. This is the highest level of morality.

Admittedly, Antigone is the central character and the author makes her a symbolic representation of morality and justice. He creates a moral individual as if he wants to show people the way to live. It is possible to assume that Antigone is an example to follow for the spectators. Antigone is the one who provokes and inspires. She provokes people’s thinking and makes them contemplate their own actions and ways of life. Her love, devotion and sacrifice can inspire people to act morally no matter what.

In conclusion, it is possible to note that Antigone is the central and the most remarkable character in the play. The young woman and loving sister, she strives to make the world better as she wants to restore justice. Antigone is a symbolic description of a moral person who is an example for everyone.

Works Cited

Sophocles. Antigone. Arlington, Virginia: Richer Resources Publications, 2007. Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, November 11). The Major Themes of the Play “Antigone” by Sophocles.

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