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Postmortem of a Protagonist: Antigone

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Madison Murrah

on 3 October 2012

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Transcript of Postmortem of a Protagonist: Antigone

Postmortem of a Protagonist:
Antigone Audrey Gan, Emily Stevens, Madison Murrah, and Mackenzie Camisa
Dr. Griffin
English II-H Period 6
Honorbound Feet Ears Head Hands Mouth Torso Heart Eyes The feet represent where Antigone has been on her journey. Antigone began with a fiery passion and incredible determination. She not only stands up for what she believes in, but she openly admits to her actions because she truly believes they were right. Antigone reaches a high point in her confidence when she states that no matter the circumstances "death longs for the same rites for all" (Sophocles 85). Antigone knows that she is risking her life, but she feels so strongly that her brother shouldn't be left to rot. Despite Antigone's seemingly unbreakable strength her confidence is tarnished when she realizes that she is alone. While she is being led to the tomb she shows sorrow and possibly defeat. She finds herself questioning her actions and wondering what life could be like if she hadn't stood up against Creon. Although she seems to faulter Antigone hangs herself as a sign of resilliance and refusal to comply to Creons laws. Antigone sacrifices herself because she knows that she can never get another brother. She truly displays her defiance from beginning to end by fighting for her brother and even taking her own life for him. The ears represent what Antigone has heard and how that has affected her. Antigone, even in the face of criticism, stands up for her beliefs and lets her fiery spirit shine through. When Creon orders that Polynices not be buried, Antigone does so anyway and owns up to it without fear. Even when pelted with hurtful words from Creon, Antigone uses this to fuel her determination and her confidence is resilient. When Creon tells Antigone that Polynices is “once an enemy, never a friend, not even after death” Antigone does not allow this to get to her (Sophocles 86). Instead she confidently states that she “was born to join in love, not hate” (Sophocles 87). Instead of letting what others say hurt her Antigone becomes more strong-minded by them and stands up for her beliefs. From all around her Antigone hears hatred, but even though it hurts to hear these things, she doesn't let it show. Even when in sorrow in the end she stands up to the Chorus and never loses confidence. The head symbolizes Antigone’s strong beliefs that she never fails to act on. Antigone never falters from her beliefs, even when others question her. She has especially strong principles regarding her family. When she is brought before Creon and he interrogates her acts of burying Polynices, she doesn’t hesitate for even a moment to respond that she did it, although she knows the consequences of her actions. It is her belief that Polynices has the right to be buried because “he is [her] brother” and that Creon “has no right to keep [her] from [her] own” (Fagles 55, 59). Antigone also stresses her belief that everyone, no matter their actions during their lifetime, should be buried. Creon tries to justify his act of not burying Polynices by saying that Antigone's brother was a traitor and did not deserve a burial. However, Antigone simply says that “Death longs for the same rites for all” and no one on earth has the judgment to decide whether one should be buried or not (Fagles 584). Because Antigone’s beliefs are so important to her, they drive her to make rash decisions even when she knows the penalties of such actions. God's' laws are more important that that of man. The hands symbolize the conflicts that Antigone encounters throughout the play. Antigone’s central conflict is with Creon. This conflict is instigated by Antigone’s brash actions to bury her brother Polynices even though it is decreed by Creon that never “at [his] hands will the traitor be honored above the patriot. But whoever proves his loyalty to the state—[he’ll] prize that man in death as well as life” (Fagles 232-235). Antigone doesn’t listen to this warning and is eventually brought before Creon for her actions. When confronting each other for their actions, Creon and Antigone both disagree on their principles and what the proper treatment for a dead traitor is. Antigone puts family above all things and risks her life for her brother, Polynices, even though he was a traitor. However, Creon disregards the ties of family when the title of being a traitor is taken into account and firmly believes that it should “never [be] the same for the patriot and the traitor” (Fagles 585). Antigone’s conflict really comes down to whether or not she is guilty for burying he brother. Antigone also struggles with fate. The torso symbolizes Antigone’s core instincts and innermost fears. One of Antigone’s most hidden fears is the fear of death. Up until the moment that she is actually being led into her tomb, Antigone pretends to not be afraid of death. She always made it known that it was only her most basic instinct and belief to fear the gods’ wrath more than Creon’s. Antigone accepts her fate dutifully and goes to her tomb without much struggle until the end, when the magnitude of the situation finally hits her and she loses her composure, showing her most hidden thoughts and fears by proclaiming “Never again, the law forbids me to see the sacred eye of day. I am agony!” (Sophocles 966-967) The eyes represent what Antigone has seen and how that has affected her. As a young girl, she sees her mother hang herself and her father stab out his own eyes with pins out of anguish. Antigone later found why her parents did this, and this knowledge combined with the images of her parents’ pain led her to believe that her family and its destiny held nothing but pain and shame. Surely, this belief was verified for Antigone when she saw the bodies of her two dead brothers, and one left decomposing in the dirt. Because of the awful sights that she has seen, Antigone holds out little hope for a happy ending for anyone in her family. This leads her to readily accept her own fate and tell Ismene that “There’s nothing, no pain- our lives are pain- no private shame, no public disgrace, nothing I haven’t seen in your griefs and mine” (Sophocles 5-8) Though her fiancé and sister are still alive, Antigone’s heart belongs to her family- specifically, the ones who have died. She lays to rest the body of her slain brother, though Creon has forbidden his burial, stating that her “death will be a glory” if she is punished for doing so (86). She does not think much of throwing away her own life while most of her family is lost to her. And while the rest of the city might view Polynices as a traitor, Antigone still regards him as her brother. This devotion to the departed is not a typical reaction of mourning for Antigone; indeed, she states that if it had been her future husband or children who had died, she would “never have taken this ordeal upon [herself]” (998). Her words ring true, not empty; her death abandons Haemon, her betrothed, whom she obviously values less than her mother, father, and brothers that have passed on. Ismene, too, is left behind without a qualm after she decides not to share in Antigone’s crime. In her grief for her family, Antigone severs her ties to the living world. Antigone has a strong sense of justice and is quite firm in her beliefs. She disregards Creon’s declaration about Polynices’s lack of burial, claiming that “a mere mortal could [not] override the gods” (504). She makes her stance clear in the oft-debated relationship between morals and human regulations: the law of the gods is higher than state law. Creon’s rule holds far less fear for her than her religion’s eternal retribution. Antigone holds fast to her sense of integrity, and expects those around her to do the same; when Ismene declines to take the risk of burying their fallen brother but later tries to share the blame, her sister rebukes her, saying, “don’t lay claim to what you never touched” (616). Antigone unhesitatingly owns up to the deed she has done, viewing what she has done as honorable and of no cause for shame. She does not let her sister take the blame for her actions- but neither does she let her take the credit. Antigone’s seemingly unwavering justice, however, may be spurred on by other motivations. Stand up and Fight by the Audtion
I’ve always learned to finish what I have put
Put into motion, devotion

Stand up and fight
Stand up and fight
For what’s right
No matter if it’s for ourselves
Or someone else
There comes a point within ourselves
We need to stand up and fight
Stand up and fight
For what’s right

Pushed me down
Kept me down
Kicked me face first to the ground
Save myself from this hell
Keep my pride if nothing else The End!!! :)
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