Antigone Heroine Essay

As early as 1856 with the publication of the essay, 'The Antigone and Its Moral' ,1 George Eliot turned her literary attention to the Sophoclean figure of Antigone.Scholars such as Gerhard Joseph' and David Moldstad' have enumerated Eliot's multiple references to Antigone, and they have argued that Eliot makes Antigone a relevant figure for '"modern" life' (Joseph, 27) and an example of 'the continuity of man's elemental self, concerned in all ages with similar needs and problems, though moral codes have come and gone' (Moldstad, 531).Antigone and Oedipus Rex are both tragic plays by Sophocles.

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Unlike her beautiful and docile sister, Antigone is sallow, withdrawn, and recalcitrant. A practical man, he firmly distances himself from the tragic aspirations of Oedipus and his line.

As he tells Antigone, his only interest is in political and social order.

Though Antigone refuses, Ismene's conversion indicates how her resistance is contagious. Creon's refusal ruins his exalted view of his father.

He too refuses the happiness that Creon offers him and follows Antigone to a tragic demise.

They are eternally indifferent, innocent, and ready to serve..

Messenger - Another typical figure of Greek drama who also appears in Sophocles' Antigone, the Messenger is a pale and solitary boy who bears the news of death.

Where Joseph traces the specific Antigone references in Eliot's fiction - especially in conclusions.

Where Hegel famously cites the figure of Antigone as the archetypal representative of the familial sphere (with Creon operating as the exemplum of the political),' Butler argues instead that Antigone is anything but a paragon of normative familiality 'steeped as she is in incestuous legacies that confound her position within kinship' (2).

Fussy, affectionate, and reassuring, she suffers no drama or tragedy but exists in the day-to-day tasks of caring for the two sisters.

Her comforting presence returns Antigone to her girlhood.


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